DOI: 10.1101/455964Oct 29, 2018Paper

Self-organization of conducting pathways explains electrical wave propagation in cardiac tissues with high fibrosis

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Nina KudryashovaKonstantin Agladze

Abstract

Cardiac fibrosis occurs in many forms of heart disease and is considered to be one of the main arrhythmogenic factors. Regions with a high density of fibrosis are likely to cause blocks of wave propagation that give rise to dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. Therefore, studies of the wave propagation through these regions are very important, yet the precise mechanisms leading to arrhythmia formation in fibrotic cardiac tissue remain poorly understood. Particularly, it is not clear how wave propagation is organized at the cellular level, as experiments show that the regions with a high percentage of fibrosis (65-75%) are still conducting electrical signals, whereas geometric analysis of randomly distributed cells predicts connectivity loss at 40% at the most (percolation threshold). To address this question, we used a joint in vitro–in silico approach, which combined experiments in neonatal rat cardiac monolayers with morphological and electrophysiological computer simulations. We have shown that the main reason for sustainable wave propagation in highly fibrotic samples is the formation of a branching network of cardiomyocytes. We have successfully reproduced the morphology of conductive pathways in computer modelling, assuming tha...Continue Reading

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