Department of Physiology. McGill University
McIntyre Medical Building
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler
Montréal, Québec H3G lY6
michael [dot] guevara [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Michael Guevara)
A cardiac arrhythmia is a disturbance in the normal rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. The electrical activity in the heart can be modelled by systems of nonlinear differential equations. These models account for the elementary electrophysiological properties of cardiac tissue, such as excitability, refractoriness, and conduction. Our immediate goal is to associate bifurcations in the qualitative dynamics of these models with the onset of particular cardiac arrhythmias, such as sinoatrial arrest, atrioventricular block, and ventricular fibrillation. The hope is that knowledge of how these arrhythmias start up might eventually lead to better diagnosis, treatment, and perhaps even prevention.