Impact of Decreased Transmural Conduction Velocity on the Function of the Human Left Ventricle: A Simulation Study
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This study investigates the impact of reduced transmural conduction velocity (TCV) on output parameters of the human heart. In a healthy heart, the TCV contributes to synchronization of the onset of contraction in individual layers of the left ventricle (LV). However, it is unclear whether the clinically observed decrease of TCV contributes significantly to a reduction of LV contractility. The applied three-dimensional finite element model of isovolumic contraction of the human LV incorporates transmural gradients in electromechanical delay and myocyte shortening velocity and evaluates the impact of TCV reduction on pressure rise (namely, (dP/dt)(max)) and on isovolumic contraction duration (IVCD) in a healthy LV. The model outputs are further exploited in the lumped “Windkessel” model of the human cardiovascular system (based on electrohydrodynamic analogy of respective differential equations) to simulate the impact of changes of (dP/dt)(max) and IVCD on chosen systemic parameters (ejection fraction, LV power, cardiac output, and blood pressure). The simulations have shown that a 50% decrease in TCV prolongs substantially the isovolumic contraction, decelerates slightly the LV pressure rise, increases the LV energy consumption, and reduces the LV power. These negative effects increase progressively with further reduction of TCV. In conclusion, these results suggest that the pumping efficacy of the human LV decreases with lower TCV due to a higher energy consumption and lower LV power. Although the changes induced by the clinically relevant reduction of TCV are not critical for a healthy heart, they may represent an important factor limiting the heart function under disease conditions.
Keywordsheart contraction, left ventricle, finite element model, blood circuit simulation, conduction velocity
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceBioMed Research International. 2020, vol. 2020, issue 1, p. 1-11.