Bulletin of the American Physical Society
2006 APS March Meeting
Monday–Friday, March 13–17, 2006; Baltimore, MD
Session Y26: Focus Session: Physics of Physiological Systems
8:00 AM–11:00 AM,
Friday, March 17, 2006
Baltimore Convention Center Room: 323
Sponsoring Unit: DBP
Chair: Peter Jung, Ohio University
Abstract ID: BAPS.2006.MAR.Y26.2
Abstract: Y26.00002 : Scaling behavior and a Markov model for ventricular fibrillation generated by ectopic beats*
8:12 AM–8:24 AM
Preview Abstract Abstract
Sudden cardiac death is a major cause of death in the industrialized world, responsible for 300,000 deaths per year in the US. Although the cardiac electrical system normally produces one ventricular activation in response to each stimulus from the sinus node, ``spontaneous'' activations, called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), can arise in the ventricles themselves, and propagate through the ventricles. Although usually harmless in the absence of underlying disease, PVCs can generate broken wavefronts when they meet gradients of refractoriness generated by other beats. These broken wavefronts may generate spiral waves producing ventricular tachycardia and ultimately degenerate into ventricular fibrillation (VF), causing sudden cardiac death. When does a PVC lead to ventricular fibrillation ? This is a stiff problem, involving time scales from milliseconds to many years. We overcome this problem by developing universal scaling properties and using these rules to drive a Markov process. We find two significant ``amplifiers'' and discuss consequences for variability of VF rates in human populations. We thank Elizabeth Cherry, Flavio Fenton, Anna Gelzer and James Glimm for helpful discussions.
*Partially supported by the NSF and NIH.
To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2006.MAR.Y26.2
The American Physical Society (APS) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance the knowledge of physics.
1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740-3844
Editorial Office 1 Research Road, Ridge, NY 11961-2701 (631) 591-4000
Office of Public Affairs 529 14th St NW, Suite 1050, Washington, D.C. 20045-2001 (202) 662-8700