Multifractal desynchronization of the cardiac excitable cell network during atrial fibrillation. I. Multifractal analysis of clinical data

Abstract : Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a cardiac arrhythmia characterized by rapid and irregular atrial electrical activity with a high clinical impact on stroke incidence. Best available therapeutic strategies combine pharmacological and surgical means. But when successful, they do not always prevent long-term relapses. Initial success becomes all the more tricky to achieve as the arrhythmia maintains itself and the pathology evolves into sustained or chronic AF. This raises the open crucial issue of deciphering the mechanisms that govern the onset of AF as well as its perpetuation. In this study, we develop a wavelet-based multi-scale strategy to analyze the electrical activity of human hearts recorded by catheter electrodes, positioned in the coronary sinus (CS), during episodes of chronic AF. We compute the so-called multifractal spectra using two variants of the wavelet transform modulus maxima method, the moment (partition function) method and the magnitude cumulant method. Application of these methods to long time series recorded in a patient with chronic AF provides quantitative evidence of the multifractal intermittent nature of the electric energy of passing cardiac impulses at low frequencies, i.e. for times (>= 0.5 s) longer than the mean interbeat (10^{-1}s). We also report the results of a two-point magnitude correlation analysis which infers the absence of a multiplicative timescale structure underlying multifractal scaling. The electric energy dynamics looks like a " multifractal white noise " with quadratic (log-normal) multifractal spectra. These observations challenge concepts of functional reentrant circuits in mechanistic theories of AF, still leaving open the role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). A transition is indeed observed in the computed multifractal spectra which group according to two distinct areas, consistently with the anatomical substrate binding to the CS, namely the left atrial posterior wall, and the ligament of Marshall which is innervated by the ANS. In a companion paper (II. Modeling), we propose a mathematical model of a denervated heart where the kinetics of gap junction conductance alone induces a desynchronization of the myocardial excitable cells, accounting for the multifractal spectra found experimentally in the left atrial posterior wall area.
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Dernière modification le : vendredi 8 juin 2018 - 11:39:46

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Guillaume Attuel, Evgeniya Gerasimova-Chechkina, F. Argoul, Hussein Yahia, Alain Arnéodo. Multifractal desynchronization of the cardiac excitable cell network during atrial fibrillation. I. Multifractal analysis of clinical data. Frontiers in Physiology, Frontiers, 2018, 8, pp.1-30. 〈10.3389/fphys.2017.01139〉. 〈hal-01673364v4〉

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