Wavelength and Fibrosis Affect Phase Singularity Locations During Atrial Fibrillation Article - Septembre 2018

Mirabeau Saha, Caroline Roney, Jason Bayer, Marianna Meo, Hubert Cochet, Rémi Dubois, Edward Vigmond

Mirabeau Saha, Caroline Roney, Jason Bayer, Marianna Meo, Hubert Cochet, Rémi Dubois, Edward Vigmond, « Wavelength and Fibrosis Affect Phase Singularity Locations During Atrial Fibrillation  », Frontiers in Physiology, septembre 2018, p. 1207. ISSN 1664-042X

Abstract

The mechanisms underlying atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common sustained cardiac rhythm disturbance, remain elusive. Atrial fibrosis plays an important role in the development of AF and rotor dynamics. Both electrical wavelength (WL) and the degree of atrial fibrosis change as AF progresses. However, their combined effect on rotor core location remains unknown. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of WL change on rotor core location in both fibrotic and non-fibrotic atria. Three patient specific fibrosis distributions (total fibrosis content : 16.6, 22.8, and 19.2%) obtained from clinical imaging data of persistent AF patients were incorporated in a bilayer atrial computational model. Fibrotic effects were modeled as myocyte-fibroblast coupling + conductivity remodeling ; structural remodeling ; ionic current changes + conductivity remodeling ; and combinations of these methods. To change WL, action potential duration (APD) was varied from 120 to 240ms, representing the range of clinically observed AF cycle length, by modifying the inward rectifier potassium current (IK1) conductance between 80 and 140% of the original value. Phase singularities (PSs) were computed to identify rotor core locations. Our results show that IK1 conductance variation resulted in a decrease of APD and WL across the atria. For large WL in the absence of fibrosis, PSs anchored to regions with high APD gradient at the center of the left atrium (LA) anterior wall and near the junctions of the inferior pulmonary veins (PVs) with the LA. Decreasing the WL induced more PSs, whose distribution became less clustered. With fibrosis, PS locations depended on the fibrosis distribution and the fibrosis implementation method. The proportion of PSs in fibrotic areas and along the borders varied with both WL and fibrosis modeling method : for patient one, this was 4.2-14.9% as IK1 varied for the structural remodeling representation, but 12.3-88.4% using the combination of structural remodeling with myocyte-fibroblast coupling. The degree and distribution of fibrosis and the choice of implementation technique had a larger effect on PS locations than the WL variation. Thus, distinguishing the fibrotic mechanisms present in a patient is important for interpreting clinical fibrosis maps to create personalized models.

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