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Human atrial cell models to analyse haemodialysis−related effects on cardiac electrophysiology: Work in progress

Elisa Passini‚ Simonetta Genovesi and Stefano Severi


During haemodialysis (HD) sessions, patients undergo alterations in the extracellular environment, mostly concerning plasma electrolyte concentrations, pH, and volume, together with a modification of sympathovagal balance. All these changes affect cardiac electrophysiology, possibly leading to an increased arrhythmic risk. Computational modeling may help to investigate the impact of HD-related changes on atrial electrophysiology. However, many different human atrial action potential (AP) models are currently available, all validated only with the standard electrolyte concentrations used in experiments. Therefore, they may respond in different ways to the same environmental changes. After an overview on how the computational approach has been used in the past to investigate the effect of HD therapy on cardiac electrophysiology, the aim of this work has been to assess the current state of the art in human atrial AP models, with respect to the HD context. All the published human atrial AP models have been considered and tested for electrolytes, volume changes, and different acetylcholine concentrations. Most of them proved to be reliable for single modifications, but all of them showed some drawbacks. Therefore, there is room for a new human atrial AP model, hopefully able to physiologically reproduce all the HD-related effects. At the moment, work is still in progress in this specific field.

Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine