Computerized mapping of ventricular fibrillation

Peng Sheng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is a complicated rhythm disorder. To study the mechanisms of VF, we used computerized mapping techniques with up to 512 channels of simultaneous multisite recordings for data acquisition. The data were then processed for dynamic display of the activation patterns and for mathematical analyses of the activation intervals. The results show that VF can be initiated by a single strong premature stimulus given during the vulnerable period of the cardiac cycle. The initial activations form figure-eight patterns. Afterwards, VF perpetuates itself without any outside help. The ability to perpetuate itself is, in part, due to the ability to generate new reentry by wavebreak. When two wavelets intersected perpendicular to each other, the second wavelet was broken by the residual refractoriness left over from the first wavelet. In diseased hearts, such as in hearts with dilated cardiomyopathy, the generation of reentry is facilitated by tissue inhomogeneity and anisotropy. We conclude that VF is a form of reentrant cardiac arrhythmia. Strong electrical stimulus initiated single or dual reentrant wavefronts that broke up into multiple wavelets. Sometimes short-lived organized reentry is also generated during the course of VF. These organized reentry and broken wavelets serve as the source of activations that sustain VF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-227
Number of pages4
JournalHeart and Vessels
Issue numberSUPPL. 12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Chaos
  • Spiral waves
  • Wavebreak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Computerized mapping of ventricular fibrillation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Chen, P. S. (1997). Computerized mapping of ventricular fibrillation. Heart and Vessels, 12(SUPPL. 12), 224-227.