Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. The prevalence of atrial fibrillation increases with age from 0.5 percent of people under the age of 60 and to more than 10 percent of people over the age of 80. Despite the fact that electrophysiological studies on cells, tissues, organ, and whole animal or human patients have added significantly to our knowledge, the mechanisms perpetuating AF are not completely understood.3 Therefore, the efficacy of various AF treatment modalities is still unsatisfactory.
Nowadays, the rapid increase in both computational power and in our knowledge on AF mechanisms enables us to build sophisticated computer models of AF. These models can be used efficiently to study AF and mechanisms underlying its perpetuation. Therefor new hypotheses can be generated which can be late validated experimentally.
We developed a highly detailed, realistic, and anatomical 3-dimensional computer model of the atria. It consists of epicardial layer and endocardial bundle network based on various sources of anatomical information with variable degree of coupling between them. In addition, we modeled also a 3D thorax, which allowed us to simulate body surface potentials and transesophageal signals. Using this model, we can investigate the effect of alterations in the AF substrate on the surface electrograms.