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AIMS: Lethal arrhythmias in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are widely attributed to myocardial ischaemia and fibrosis. How these factors modulate arrhythmic risk remains largely unknown, especially as invasive mapping protocols are not routinely used in these patients. By leveraging multiscale digital-twin technologies, we aim to investigate ischaemic mechanisms of increased arrhythmic risk in HCM. METHODS AND RESULTS: Computational models of human HCM cardiomyocytes, tissue and ventricles were used to simulate outcomes of phase 1A acute myocardial ischaemia. Cellular response predictions were validated with patch-clamp studies of human HCM cardiomyocytes (n=12 cells, N=5 patients). Ventricular simulations were informed by typical distributions of subendocardial/transmural ischaemia as analysed in perfusion scans (N=28 patients). S1-S2 pacing protocols were used to quantify arrhythmic risk for scenarios in which regions of septal obstructive hypertrophy were affected by (i) ischaemia, (ii) ischaemia and impaired repolarisation, and (iii) ischaemia, impaired repolarisation, and diffuse fibrosis.HCM cardiomyocytes exhibited enhanced action potential and abnormal effective refractory period shortening to ischaemic insults. Analysis of c.a. 75,000 re-entry induction cases revealed that the abnormal HCM cellular response enabled establishment of arrhythmia at milder ischaemia than otherwise possible in healthy myocardium, due to larger refractoriness gradients that promoted conduction block. Arrhythmias were more easily sustained in transmural than subendocardial ischaemia. Mechanisms of ischaemia-fibrosis interaction were strongly electrophysiology dependent. Fibrosis enabled asymmetric re-entry patterns and break-up into sustained ventricular tachycardia. CONCLUSIONS: HCM ventricles exhibited an increased risk to non-sustained and sustained re-entry, largely dominated by an impaired cellular response and deleterious interactions with the diffuse fibrotic substrate.

Original publication




Journal article


Cardiovasc Res

Publication Date



arrhythmic risk, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, ischaemia, modelling and simulation