AIMS This computational study refines our recently published pacing protocol to measure short-term memory (STM) of cardiac action potential (AP), and apply it to five numerical models of human ventricular AP. METHODS AND RESULTS Several formulations of electrical restitution (ER) have been provided over the years, including standard, beat-to-beat, dynamic, steady-state, which make it difficult to compare results from different studies. We discuss here the notion of dynamic ER (dER) by relating it to its steady-state counterpart, and propose a pacing protocol based on dER to measure STM under periodically varying pacing cycle length (CL). Under high and highly variable-pacing rate, all models develop STM, which can be measured over the entire sequence by means of dER. Short-term memory can also be measured on a beat-to-beat basis by estimating action potential duration (APD) adaptation after clamping CL constant. We visualize STM as a phase shift between action potential (AP) parameters over consecutive cycles of CL oscillations, and show that delay between CL and APD oscillation is nearly constant (around 92 ms) in the five models, despite variability in their intrinsic AP properties. CONCLUSION dER, as we define it and together with other approaches described in the study, provides an univocal way to measure STM under extreme cardiac pacing conditions. Given the relevance of AP memory for repolarization dynamics and stability, STM should be considered, among other usual biomarkers, to validate and tune cardiac AP models. The possibility of extending the method to in vivo cellular and whole organ models can also be profitably explored.
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