Evaluation of a Rapid Anisotropic Model for ECG Simulation
State-of-the-art cardiac electrophysiology models that are able to deliver physiologically motivated activation maps and electrocardiograms (ECGs) can only be solved on high-performance computing architectures. This makes it nearly impossible to adopt such models in clinical practice. ECG imaging tools typically rely on simplified models, but these neglect the anisotropic electric conductivity of the tissue in the forward problem. Moreover, their results are often confined to the heart-torso interface. We propose a forward model that fully accounts for the anisotropic tissue conductivity and produces the standard 12-lead ECG in a few seconds. The activation sequence is approximated with an eikonal model in the 3d myocardium, while the ECG is computed with the lead-field approach. Both solvers were implemented on graphics processing units and massively parallelized. We studied the numerical convergence and scalability of the approach. We also compared the method to the bidomain model in terms of ECGs and activation maps, using a simplified but physiologically motivated geometry and 6 patient-specific anatomies. The proposed methods provided a good approximation of activation maps and ECGs computed with a bidomain model, in only a few seconds. Both solvers scaled excellently to high-end hardware. These methods are suitable for use in ECG imaging methods, and may soon become fast enough for use in interactive simulation tools.
Frontiers in Physiology
Bidomain modeling,ECG,Eikonal model,Electrophysiology,Lead fields,Patient-specific modeling