Cardiac torsion and electromagnetic fields: The cardiac bioinformation hypothesis

Katharine O. Burleson, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Although in physiology the heart is often referred to as a simple piston pump, there are in fact two additional features that are integral to cardiac physiology and function. First, the heart as it contracts in systole, also rotates and produces torsion due to the structure of the myocardium. Second, the heart produces a significant electromagnetic field with each contraction due to the coordinated depolarization of myocytes producing a current flow. Unlike the electrocardiogram, the magnetic field is not limited to volume conduction and extends outside the body. The therapeutic potential for interaction of this cardioelectromagnetic field both within and outside the body is largely unexplored. It is our hypothesis that the heart functions as a generator of bioinformation that is central to normative functioning of body. The source of this bioinformation is based on: (1) vortex blood flow in the left ventricle; (2) a cardiac electromagnetic field and both; (3) heart sounds; and (4) pulse pressure which produce frequency and amplitude information. Thus, there is a multidimensional role for the heart in physiology and biopsychosocial dynamics. Recognition of these cardiac properties may result in significant implications for new therapies for cardiovascular disease based on increasing cardiac energy efficiency (coherence) and bioinformation from the cardioelectromagnetic field. Research studies to test this hypothesis are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1116
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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