Despite the key role of beat-to-beat action potential (AP) variability in the onset of ventricular arrhythmias at high pacing rate, the knowledge of the involved dynamics and of effective prognostic parameters is largely incomplete. Electrical restitution (ER), the way AP duration (APD) senses changes in preceding cycle length (CL), has been used to monitor transition to arrhythmias. The use of standard ER (sER), though, is controversial, not always suitable for in vivo and only rarely for clinical applications. By means of simulations on a human ventricular AP model, I investigate the dynamics of APD at high pacing rate under sinusoidally, saw-tooth, and randomly variable pacing CLs. AP sequences were compared in terms of beat-to-beat restitution (btb-ER) and of the collections of sER curves generated from each beat. A definition of APD stability is also proposed, based on successive APD changes introduced in an AP sequence by a premature beat. The explored CL range includes values leading to APD alternans under constant pacing. Three different types of response to CL variability were found, corresponding to progressively higher rate of beat-to-beat CL changes. Low rates (1 ms/beat) generate a btb-ER dominated by steady-state rate dependence of APD (type 1), intermediate rates (5 ms/beat) lead to a btb-ER similar to a single sER (type 2), and high rates (20 ms/beat) to hysteretic btb-ER under periodic pacing and to a vertically spread btb-ER in the case of random pacing (type 3). Stability of AP repolarization always increases with the rate of CL changes. Thus, rather than looking at sER slope, which requires additional interventions during the recording of cardiac electrical activity, this study provides rationale for the use of btb-ER representations as predictors of repolarization stability under extreme pacing conditions, known to be critical for the arrhythmia development.
Restitution and Stability of Human Ventricular Action Potential at High and Variable Pacing Rate / Zaniboni, Massimiliano. - In: BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL. - ISSN 1542-0086. - 117(2019), pp. 2382-2395. [10.1016/j.bpj.2019.08.020]
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