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Modelling the heart as a communication system


Ashikaga, H; Aguilar-Rodríguez, José; Gorsky, S; Lusczek, E; Marquitti, F M D; Thompson, B; Wu, D; Garland, J (2015). Modelling the heart as a communication system. Journal of the Royal Society. Interface, 12(105):20141201.

Abstract

Electrical communication between cardiomyocytes can be perturbed during arrhythmia, but these perturbations are not captured by conventional electrocardiographic metrics. We developed a theoretical framework to quantify electrical communication using information theory metrics in two-dimensional cell lattice models of cardiac excitation propagation. The time series generated by each cell was coarse-grained to 1 when excited or 0 when resting. The Shannon entropy for each cell was calculated from the time series during four clinically important heart rhythms: normal heartbeat, anatomical reentry, spiral reentry and multiple reentry. We also used mutual information to perform spatial profiling of communication during these cardiac arrhythmias. We found that information sharing between cells was spatially heterogeneous. In addition, cardiac arrhythmia significantly impacted information sharing within the heart. Entropy localized the path of the drifting core of spiral reentry, which could be an optimal target of therapeutic ablation. We conclude that information theory metrics can quantitatively assess electrical communication among cardiomyocytes. The traditional concept of the heart as a functional syncytium sharing electrical information cannot predict altered entropy and information sharing during complex arrhythmia. Information theory metrics may find clinical application in the identification of rhythm-specific treatments which are currently unmet by traditional electrocardiographic techniques.

Abstract

Electrical communication between cardiomyocytes can be perturbed during arrhythmia, but these perturbations are not captured by conventional electrocardiographic metrics. We developed a theoretical framework to quantify electrical communication using information theory metrics in two-dimensional cell lattice models of cardiac excitation propagation. The time series generated by each cell was coarse-grained to 1 when excited or 0 when resting. The Shannon entropy for each cell was calculated from the time series during four clinically important heart rhythms: normal heartbeat, anatomical reentry, spiral reentry and multiple reentry. We also used mutual information to perform spatial profiling of communication during these cardiac arrhythmias. We found that information sharing between cells was spatially heterogeneous. In addition, cardiac arrhythmia significantly impacted information sharing within the heart. Entropy localized the path of the drifting core of spiral reentry, which could be an optimal target of therapeutic ablation. We conclude that information theory metrics can quantitatively assess electrical communication among cardiomyocytes. The traditional concept of the heart as a functional syncytium sharing electrical information cannot predict altered entropy and information sharing during complex arrhythmia. Information theory metrics may find clinical application in the identification of rhythm-specific treatments which are currently unmet by traditional electrocardiographic techniques.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:cardiac arrhythmia; cardiac electrophysiology; information theory; mathematical modelling
Language:English
Date:11 February 2015
Deposited On:11 Feb 2016 13:04
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:01
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:1742-5689
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2014.1201
PubMed ID:25740854

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