Integrated approach for the study of anatomical variability in the cardiac Purkinje system: from high resolution MRI to electrophysiology simulation.
Bordas R., Grau V., Burton RB., Hales P., Schneider JE., Gavaghan D., Kohl P., Rodriguez B.
The ordered electrical stimulation of the ventricles is achieved by a specialized network of fibres known as the Purkinje system. The gross anatomy and basic functional role of the Purkinje system is well understood. However, very little is known about the detailed anatomy of the Purkinje system, its inter-individual variability and the implications of the variability in ventricular function, in part due to limitations in experimental techniques. In this study, we aim to provide new insight into the inter-individual variability of the free running Purkinje system anatomy and its impact on ventricular electrophysiological function. As a first step towards achieving this aim, high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets of rat and the rabbit ventricles are obtained and analysed using a novel semi-automatic image processing algorithm for segmentation of the free-running Purkinje system. Segmented geometry from the MRI datasets is used to construct a computational model of the Purkinje system, which is incorporated in to an anatomically-based ventricular geometry to simulate ventricular electrophysiological activity.