Beyond pure parasystole: promises and problems in modeling complex arrhythmias

M. Courtemanche, L. Glass, M. D. Rosengarten, A. L. Goldberger
1989 American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology  
The dynamics of pure parasystole, a cardiac arrhythmia in which two competing pacemakers fire independently, have recently been fully characterized. This model is now extended in an attempt to account for the more complex dynamics occurring with modulated parasystole, in which there exists nonlinear interaction between the sinus node and the ectopic ventricular focus. Theoretical analysis of modulated parasystole reveals three types of dynamics: entrainment, quasiperiodicity, and chaos. Rhythms
more » ... associated with quasiperiodicity obey a set of rules derived from pure parasystole. This model is applied to the interpretation of continuous electrocardiographic data sets from three patients with complicated patterns of ventricular ectopic activity. We describe several new statistical properties of these records, related to the number of intervening sinus beats between ectopic events, that are essential in characterizing the dynamics and testing mathematical models. Detailed comparison between data and theory in these cases show substantial areas of agreement as well as potentially important discrepancies. These findings have implications for understanding the dynamics of the heartbeat in normal and pathological conditions.
doi:10.1152/ajpheart.1989.257.2.h693 pmid:2764150 fatcat:lb4kz2qjbnfsvhstn7l4e6x6ou