There is substantial experimental evidence from studies using both intact tissue and isolated single cells to support the existence of different cell types within the ventricular wall of the heart, each possessing different electrical properties. However other studies have failed to find these differences, and instead support the idea that electrical coupling in vivo between regions with different cell types smoothes out differences in action potential shape and duration. In this study we have used a computational model of electrical activation in heterogenous 2D and 3D cardiac tissue to investigate the propagation of both normal beats and arrhythmias. We used the Luo-Rudy dynamic model for guinea pig ventricular cells, with simplified Ca2+handling and transmural heterogeneity in IKsand Ito. With normal cell-to-cell coupling, a layer of M cells was not necessary for the formation of an upright T wave in the simulated electrocardiogram, and the amplitude and configuration of the T wave was not greatly affected by the thickness and configuration of the M cell layer. Transmural gradients in repolarisation pushed re-entrant waves with an intramural filament towards either the base or the apex of the ventricles, and caused transient break up of re-entry with a transmural filament. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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