Personalized computational simulations of the heart could open up new improved approaches to diagnosis and surgery assistance systems. While it is fully recognized that myocardial fiber orientation is central for the construction of realistic computational models of cardiac electromechanics, the role of its overall architecture and connectivity remains unclear. Morphological studies show that the distribution of cardiac muscular fibers at the basal ring connects epicardium and endocardium. However, computational models simplify their distribution and disregard the basal loop. This work explores the influence in computational simulations of fiber distribution at different short-axis cuts.
We have used a highly parallelized computational solver to test different fiber models of ventricular muscular connectivity. We have considered two rule-based mathematical models and an own-designed method preserving basal connectivity as observed in experimental data. Simulated cardiac functional scores (rotation, torsion and longitudinal shortening) were compared to experimental healthy ranges using generalized models (rotation) and Mahalanobis distances (shortening, torsion).
The probability of rotation was significantly lower for ruled-based models [95% CI (0.13, 0.20)] in comparison with experimental data [95% CI (0.23, 0.31)]. The Mahalanobis distance for experimental data was in the edge of the region enclosing 99% of the healthy population.
Cardiac electromechanical simulations of the heart with fibers extracted from experimental data produce functional scores closer to healthy ranges than rule-based models disregarding architecture connectivity.