Electrical defibrillation by application of a strong shock to the heart is the only effective treatment against lethal cardiac arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation. A large body of experimental and computational research has been devoted to understanding shock-induced effects on the heart in an attempt to improve defibrillation efficacy. However, most of the research has been performed in small animal hearts, and in particular rabbits. The difference in size between rabbits and humans might limit the extrapolation of the results to the clinical setting. In this paper, we present, for the first time, computer simulations of shock-induced effects on a human ventricular model with realistic ion channel dynamics and fibre architecture. Bidomain simulations using the human ventricular model were performed using the Chaste open source simulation package. The parallel performance of the software package was highly improved in order to meet the computational requirements of these kind of studies.
Authors and Affiliations
- M. O. Bernabeu, University of Oxfoford
- M. Wallman, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
- B. Rodríguez, University of Oxfoford