Simulation of Spiral Waves and Point Sources in Atrial Fibrillation with Application to Rotor Localization
Cardiac simulations play an important role in studies involving understanding and investigating the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias. Today, studies of arrhythmogenesis and maintenance are largely being performed by creating simulations of a particular arrhythmia with high accuracy comparable to the results of clinical experiments. Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia in the United States and many other parts of the world, is one of the major field where simulation and modeling is largely used. AF simulations not only assist in understanding its mechanisms but also help to develop, evaluate and improve the computer algorithms used in electrophysiology (EP) systems for ablation therapies. In this paper, we begin with a review of some commonly used simulation techniques to simulate two major AF mechanisms -- spiral waves (or rotors) and point (or focal) sources. We particularly focus on 2D simulations using Nygren's mathematical model of human atrial cell. Then, we elucidate an application of the developed AF simulation to an algorithm designed for localizing AF rotors for improving current AF ablation therapies. Our simulation methods and results, along with the other discussions presented in this paper is aimed to provide engineers and professionals with a working-knowledge of creating application-specific simulations of spirals and foci.