An atlas- and data-driven approach to initializing reaction-diffusion systems in computer cardiac electrophysiology

Corné Hoogendoorn, Rafael Sebastian, José Félix Rodriguez, Karim Lekadir, Alejandro F. Frangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cardiac electrophysiology (EP) problem is governed by a nonlinear anisotropic reaction-diffusion system with a very rapidly varying reaction term associated with the transmembrane cell current. The nonlinearity associated with the cell models requires a stabilization process before any simulation is performed. More importantly, when used in a 3-dimensional (3D) anatomy, it is not sufficient to perform this stabilization on the basis of isolated cells only, since the coupling of the different cells through the tissue greatly modulates the dynamics of the system. Therefore, stabilization of the system must be performed on the entire 3D model. This work develops a novel procedure for the initialization of reaction-diffusion systems for numerical simulations of cardiac EP from steady-state conditions. We exploit surface point correspondence to establish volumetric point correspondence. Upon introduction of a new 3D anatomy with surface point correspondence, a prediction of the cell model steady states is derived from the set of earlier biophysical simulations. We show that the prediction error is typically less than 10% for all model variables, with most variables showing even greater accuracy. When initializing simulations with the predicted model states, it is demonstrated that simulation times can be cut by at least two-thirds and potentially more, which saves hours or days of high-performance computing. Overall, these results increase the clinical applicability of detailed computational EP studies on personalized anatomies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2846
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
Early online date30 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • cardiac electrophysiology
  • patient-specific modeling
  • simulation


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