Effect of bundle branch block on cardiac output: A whole heart simulation study

Edward J. Vigmond, Clyde Clements, David M. McQueen, Charles S. Peskin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The heart is an electrically controlled fluid pump which operates by mechanical contraction. Whole heart modelling is a computationally daunting task which must incorporate several subsystems: mechanical, electrical, and fluidic. Numerous feedback mechanisms on many levels, and operating at different scales, exist to finely control behaviour. Understanding these interactions is necessary to understand heart operation, as well as pathologies and therapies. A review of the components in such a model is given. The authors then present a framework for their electro-mechano-fluidic whole heart model based on cable methods. The model incorporates atria and ventricles, and has functioning valves with papillary muscles. The effect of altered propagation due to left and right bundle branch block on cardiac output is examined using the cable-based model. Results are compared to clinically observed phenomena. Good agreement was obtained, but tighter coupling of mechanical and electrical events is needed to fully account for behaviour. Cable-based models offer an alternative to continuum models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-542
Number of pages23
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Bundle branch block
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Navier-Stokes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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