Interstitial potentials and their change with depth into cardiac tissue.
The electrical source strength for an isolated, active, excitable fiber can be taken to be its transmembrane current as an excellent approximation. The transmembrane current can be determined from intracellular potentials only. But for multicellular preparations, particularly cardiac ventricular muscle, the electrical source strength may be changed significantly by the presence of the interstitial potential field. This report examines the size of the interstitial potential field as a function of depth into a semi-infinite tissue structure of cardiac muscle regarded as syncytial. A uniform propagating plane wave of excitation is assumed and the interstitial potential field is found based on consideration of the medium as a continuum (bidomain model). As a whole, the results are inconsistent with any of the limiting cases normally used to represent the volume conductor, and suggest that in only the thinnest of tissue (less than 200 micron) can the interstitial potentials be ignored.
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