A novel mechanism of anode-break stimulation predicted by bidomain modeling

Ravi Ranjan, Gordon F. Tomaselli, Eduardo Marbán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Anodal stimulation by external pacemakers has been explained on the basis of bidomain models of cardiac tissue. Bidomain models predict that anodal stimuli will hyperpolarize the underlying tissue while adjacent regions become depolarized (virtual cathodes), initiating excitation. We investigated the contribution of active cellular properties to anode-break stimulation. A bidomain model was implemented in which each cell contained realistic ionic currents, including those recruited by hyperpolarization. Simulations reveal that anode-break excitation can originate at the site of stimulation itself and not only from adjacent regions of induced depolarization. The threshold for initiating excitation at the site of stimulation is lower than that for stimulation initiating from adjacent depolarized regions. Thus, incorporation of active cellular properties into a bidomain model predicts a novel mechanism for anode-break stimulation of the heart. The results will improve our understanding of anodal pacing and its risks and benefits in patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-156
Number of pages4
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 5 1999


  • Anisotropy
  • Excitation
  • Pacemaker
  • Quantitative modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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