The effect of cellular discontinuities on the transient subthreshold response of a one-dimensional cardiac model.


Journal Article

Previous studies have examined the influence of the gap-junction discontinuity on the steady-state response of a cardiac cable to electrical defibrillation. It is important to understand when steady-state conditions may be assumed. For this reason, the transient, subthreshold behavior of a discontinuous cardiac cable is examined in this study. The behavior of the cable reflects two characteristics: 1) the continuous nature of the entire cable and 2) the isolated behavior of individual cells imposed by the junction discontinuity. The results show two effective time constants of activation: a large time constant corresponding to the time constant of a continuous cable of equivalent length, and a small time constant reflecting the rapid activation of an isolated cell. The rapid activation establishes a voltage gradient across each cell of the cable with one end of the cell hyperpolarized and the opposite end depolarized. This pattern of hyperpolarization and depolarization reaches a maximum value in approximately 3 microseconds and may play an important role in the mechanism of defibrillation.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Cartee, LA; Plonsey, R

Published Date

  • March 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 260 - 270

PubMed ID

  • 1555856

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1555856

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-2531

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0018-9294

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/10.125011


  • eng