Simulation of Brugada syndrome using cellular and three-dimensional whole-heart modeling approaches

Ling Xia, Yu Zhang, Henggui Zhang, Qing Wei, Feng Liu, Stuart Crozier

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    Brugada syndrome (BS) is a genetic disease identified by an abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) (mainly abnormal ECGs associated with right bundle branch block and ST-elevation in right precordial leads). BS can lead to increased risk of sudden cardiac death. Experimental studies on human ventricular myocardium with BS have been limited due to difficulties in obtaining data. Thus, the use of computer simulation is an important alternative. Most previous BS simulations were based on animal heart cell models. However, due to species differences, the use of human heart cell models, especially a model with three-dimensional whole-heart anatomical structure, is needed. In this study, we developed a model of the human ventricular action potential (AP) based on refining the ten Tusscher et al (2004 Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. 286 H1573-89) model to incorporate newly available experimental data of some major ionic currents of human ventricular myocytes. These modified channels include the L-type calcium current (ICaL), fast sodium current (INa), transient outward potassium current (Ito), rapidly and slowly delayed rectifier potassium currents (IKr and IKs) and inward rectifier potassium current (IKi). Transmural heterogeneity of APs for epicardial, endocardial and mid-myocardial (M) cells was simulated by varying the maximum conductance of IKs and Ito. The modified AP models were then used to simulate the effects of BS on cellular AP and body surface potentials using a three-dimensional dynamic heart-torso model. Our main findings are as follows. (1) BS has little effect on the AP of endocardial or mid-myocardial cells, but has a large impact on the AP of epicardial cells. (2) A likely region of BS with abnormal cell AP is near the right ventricular outflow track, and the resulting ST-segment elevation is located in the median precordium area. These simulation results are consistent with experimental findings reported in the literature. The model can reproduce a variety of electrophysiological behaviors and provides a good basis for understanding the genesis of abnormal ECG under the condition of BS disease. © 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number006
    JournalPhysiological Measurement
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006


    • Action potential
    • Body surface potentials
    • Brugada syndrome
    • ECG simulation
    • Heart-torso model
    • Ionic channel


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