Arrhythmogenesis as the failure of repolarization

Cardiac fibrillation is a medical condition where normal heart function is compromised because of disorderly electrical activity. How fibrillation arises spontaneously is not fully understood. In this computational study, we show that arrhythmias can be initiated by cardiac cells that fail to repolarize of their own accord but still operate normally when embedded in functional heart tissue. We find that cells on tissue boundaries are more susceptible to arrhythmia because they are coupled to fewer normal cells. This may explain why the pulmonary vein is a common source of atrial fibrillation.

 

Heitmann, Vandenberg, Hill (2020) Arrhythmogenesis as the failure of repolarization. BioRxiv 2020.07.02.185694.