Fractals in physiology and medicine

Author: A L Goldberger1, B J West
1 Cardiovascular Division, Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.
2 Harvard Med Sch, Boston, MA
Conference/Journal: Yale J Biol Med
Date published: Sep-Oct 1987
Other: Volume ID: 60 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 421-35 , Word Count: 80

Nonlinear dynamics, a branch of the basic sciences that studies complex physical systems, offers novel approaches to long-standing problems of physiological form and function. The nonlinear concept of fractals, introduced and developed over the last decade, provides insights into the organization of complex structures such as the tracheobronchial tree and heart, as well as into the dynamics of healthy physiological variability. Alterations in fractal scaling may underlie a number of pathophysiological disturbances, including sudden cardiac death syndromes.

PMID: 3424875 PMCID: PMC2590346