Article Review: What can nonlinear dynamics teach us about … [tachycardia/fibrillation]? by Li et al.

I had to cut the title a bit short, because it’s a long one.

Hubmed Page: What can nonlinear dynamics teach us about the development of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation?

This short article (3 pages) describes in a very readable way how nonlinear dynamics may be applied to understand beat-to-beat alternans of action potential duration and amplitude. While the actual methods used are not written, the concept is well-conveyed. I’ve not yet had a course in nonlinear dynamics, so some of the terminology was a bit beyond my understanding. I don’t know anything about eigenmodes, for example.

After providing a brief background of nonlinear dynamics, the authors elaborate on how they used nonlinear dynamics to develop a realistic model of calcium cycling and alternans in the canine myocardium. All-in-all, it’s not a terribly informative paper. Like many articles that mention fibrillation and tachycardia, it comes up short of actually linking the found mechanisms to clinical application and human disease. It is, however, a nice introduction to the topic, and the references look promising. If you have an interest in cardiac arrhythmias, and aren’t very familiar with this sort of analysis, I recommend you read it over and consider further study of the topic.