A mathematical model of parasystole and its application to clinical arrhythmias.
A ventricular parasystolic focus capable of generating manifest ectopic beats should not be totally insulated from the electrical events that accompany depolarization in the surrounding tissue; the intrinsic cycle length of the ectopic discharge may be modulated by electrotonic influences transmitted across the zone of "protection." To study the nature of the interaction, response patterns were examined in a mathematical model programmed to simulate an ectopic pacemaker protected, but not divorced from ventricular responses to the normal pacemaker. Computer runs covered a wide range of heart rates, and a wide range of magnitudes of the simulated electrotonic influence. Application of the results obtained in the model to published examples of complex arrhythmias revealed a remarkably close fit to many clinical examples. This findings suggests that many patterns attributed to a re-entrant "extrasystolic" rhythm may, in fact, represent the modulated activity of a parasystolic focus.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association