Arrhythmias by Dimension


Abnormalities of function of the cardiac conduction system are the cause of death of hundreds of people every day. For that reason, the study of cardiac arrhythmias is of great interest from a medical and scientific perspective. However cardiac arrhythmias are also interesting for mathematical reasons because the cardiac conduction system can be viewed as a dynamical system and the variety of its behaviors can be studied from the viewpoint of dynamical systems theory.

In this talk, I give a classification of cardiac arrhythmias that is based on spatial dimension, and is therefore useful for mathematicians, but probably not (as much) for physicians. I describe examples of zero dimensional arrhythmias (abnormalities of single cells), one dimensional arrhythmias (Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome), two dimensional arrhythmias (atrial flutter), and three dimensional arrhythmias (ventricular tachicardia and fibrillation).