Propagation of excitation in idealized anisotropic two-dimensional tissue.
This paper reports on a simulation of propagation for anisotropic two-dimensional cardiac tissue. The tissue structure assumed was that of a Hodgin-Huxley membrane separating inside and outside anisotropic media, obeying Ohm's law in each case. Membrane current was found by an integral expression involving partial spatial derivatives of Vm weighted by a function of distance. Numerical solutions for transmembrane voltage as a function of time following excitation at a single central site were computed using an algorithm that examined only the portion of the tissue undergoing excitation at each moment; thereby, the number of calculations required was reduced to a large but achievable number. Results are shown for several combinations of the four conductivity values: With isotropic tissue, excitation spread in circles, as expected. With tissue having nominally normal ventricular conductivities, excitation spread in patterns close to ellipses. With reciprocal conductivities, isochrones approximated a diamond shape, and were in conflict with the theoretical predictions of Muler and Markin; the time constant of the foot of the action potentials, as computed, varied between sites along axes as compared with sites along the diagonals, even though membrane properties were identical everywhere. Velocity of propagation changed for several milliseconds following the stimulus. Patterns that would have been expected from well-known studies in one dimension did not always occur in two dimensions, with the magnitude of the difference varying from nil for isotropic conductivities to quite large for reciprocal conductivities.
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