Skip to main content

White Paper: Uncertainty and variability in computational and mathematical models of cardiac physiology

GR Mirams‚ P Pathmanathan‚ RA Gray‚ P Challenor and RH Clayton


The Cardiac Physiome effort is one of the most mature and successful applications of mathematical and computational models for describing and advancing the understanding of physiology. After five decades of development, physiological cardiac models are poised to realise the promise of translational research via clinical applications such as drug development and patient specific approaches as well as ablation, cardiac resynchronisation, and contractility modulation therapies. For models to be included as a vital component of the decision process in safety critical applications, rigorous assessment of model credibility will be required. This White Paper describes one aspect of this process by identifying and classifying sources of variability and uncertainty in moels as well as their implications for the application and development of cardiac models. We stress the need to understand and quantify the sources of variability and uncertainty in model inputs, the impact of model structure and complexity, and their consequences for predictive model outputs. We propose that the future of the Cardiac Physiome should include a probabilistic approach to quantify the relationship of variability and uncertainty of model inputs and outputs.

Journal of Physiology