atria and tremors
Researchers have developed a methodology to evaluate the individual risk of cardiac arrhythmia and the effect of digital simulation therapy.
Until now, the risk of a patient who developed atypical atrial flutter could not be reliably calculated. At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers have now developed realistic computational models of the heart that allow the identification of all pathways along which atypical, circular electrical excitations of atrial flutter can occur.
The image of the heart takes place on several levels: from the ion channel through cells and tissues to the entire organ. Anatomical, electrophysical and pharmacological criteria are also included in the program. "So models can simulate how electrical stimulation is produced, how it spreads throughout the heart and, as in the case of cardiac arrhythmia, is maintained permanently," said Axel Loewe, leader of the Modeling Modeling Heart Working Group at the KIT Institute of Biomedical Engineering.
Possible custom therapies
In addition to simulating such basic physiological and pathological processes, the group also works with personalized computer models to determine individually the risk of disease and the effect of treatment.
Researchers use magnetic resonance imaging techniques to record personal anatomy, such as heart size and atrial shape. By incorporating the electrical activity of the heart recorded by the electrocardiogram, it is expected that they will be able to offer customized therapies in the future.
"Computer models provide a perfectly controlled environment for experiments," Loewe says. Thus, it is already possible to simulate small changes, for example in a heart rhythm, and to calculate their consequences for the whole system. In the future, models should complement classic methods such as cell and animal experiments and allow testing of new therapies without risk to humans.
Axel Loewe, Emanuel Poremba, Tobias Oesterlein, Armin Luik, Claus Schmitt, Gunnar Seemann, and Olaf Dössel: Patient-specific identification of atrial flutter vulnerability – A computational approach to discovering latent reentry pathways. Frontiers in Physiology, 2019. DOI: 10.3389 / fphys.2018.01910
Source: idw – Science Information Service