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The mechanisms for conduction and unidirectional block (UDB) in cardiac tissue under spatial changes in cell-to-cell coupling resistivity (R i) and resting potential (V rest) were studied. The effects of discontinuities in R i as would result from collagenous or fibrotic tissue on propagation characteristics, in the border zone between normal and ischemic tissue, were studied. It was found that conduction block is more likely to occur when an abrupt decrease in R i is encountered as compared to an abrupt increase in R i. Discontinuities in R i were found to cause changes in propagation characteristics, changing regions of bidirectional block to UDB or bidirectional propagation. Spatial changes in V rest were also studied. It is found that when V rest alone was altered, block was not likely to occur, while discontinuities in R i superimposed with V rest gradients increased the likelihood of block. It is also found that R i discontinuities located in the border zone between normal and ischemic tissue can create exit block or propagation of a parasystolic focus.
Date of Publication: May 1992