New insights into defibrillation of the heart from realistic simulation studies

Natalia A. Trayanova, Lukas J. Rantner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cardiac defibrillation, as accomplished nowadays by automatic, implantable devices, constitutes the most important means of combating sudden cardiac death. Advancing our understanding towards a full appreciation of the mechanisms by which a shock interacts with the heart, particularly under diseased conditions, is a promising approach to achieve an optimal therapy. The aim of this article is to assess the current state-of-the-art in whole-heart defibrillation modelling, focusing on major insights that have been obtained using defibrillation models, primarily those of realistic heart geometry and disease remodelling. The article showcases the contributions that modelling and simulation have made to our understanding of the defibrillation process. The review thus provides an example of biophysically based computational modelling of the heart (i.e. cardiac defibrillation) that has advanced the understanding of cardiac electrophysiological interaction at the organ level, and has the potential to contribute to the betterment of the clinical practice of defibrillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-713
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer simulation
  • Electric countershock
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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