Efficient Computational Modeling of Human Ventricular Activation and Its Electrocardiographic Representation: A Sensitivity Study

Jonathan P. Cranford, Thomas J. O’Hara, Christopher T. Villongco, Omar M. Hafez, Robert C. Blake, Joseph Loscalzo, Jean Luc Fattebert, David F. Richards, Xiaohua Zhang, James N. Glosli, Andrew D. McCulloch, David E. Krummen, Felice C Lightstone, Sergio E. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Patient-specific models of the ventricular myocardium, combined with the computational power to run rapid simulations, are approaching the level where they could be used for personalized cardiovascular medicine. A major remaining challenge is determining model parameters from available patient data, especially for models of the Purkinje-myocardial junctions (PMJs): the sites of initial ventricular electrical activation. There are no non-invasive methods for localizing PMJs in patients, and the relationship between the standard clinical ECG and PMJ model parameters is underexplored. Thus, this study aimed to determine the sensitivity of the QRS complex of the ECG to the anatomical location and regional number of PMJs. The QRS complex was simulated using an image-based human torso and biventricular model, and cardiac electrophysiology was simulated using Cardioid. The PMJs were modeled as discrete current injection stimuli, and the location and number of stimuli were varied within initial activation regions based on published experiments. Results indicate that the QRS complex features were most sensitive to the presence or absence of four “seed” stimuli, and adjusting locations of nearby “regional” stimuli provided finer tuning. Decreasing number of regional stimuli by an order of magnitude resulted in virtually no change in the QRS complex. Thus, a minimal 12-stimuli configuration was identified that resulted in physiological excitation, defined by QRS complex feature metrics and ventricular excitation pattern. Overall, the sensitivity results suggest that parameterizing PMJ location, rather than number, be given significantly higher priority in future studies creating personalized ventricular models from patient-derived ECGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-467
Number of pages21
JournalCardiovascular Engineering and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 15 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bundle branch block
  • Computational electrophysiology
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Human ventricular excitation
  • Patient-specific modeling
  • Sensitivity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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