Studies on Left Atrial Automaticity in Dogs
The site of origin and the sequence of atrial activation were studied in 21 open-chested dogs anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital. Bipolar plunge electrodes were used to record atrial electrograms simultaneously with surface lead II and His bundle electrogram. In sinus rhythm the sinus node was activated first, followed sequentially by Bachmann's bundle, right atrial appendix, left atrial appendix, posterior left atrium, and the proximal portion of the coronary sinus. In 15 dogs left atrial beats and rhythms of various rate were recorded, including instances of left atrial exit block and of rapid left atrial rhythms. In such beats one of the left atrial electrodes was activated first and was followed by Bachmann's bundle, sinus node, proximal portion of the coronary sinus, and by right atrial appendix. Left atrial beats were observed occurring (1) spontaneously; (2) as a result of vagal stimulation; (3) after destruction of the sinus node; (4) during ventricular pacing. Left atrial pacing through the electrode recording initial activity reproduced the sequence and configuration of atrial electrogram similar to that seen in the ectopic left atrial beats. These results demonstrate that in dogs ectopic activity frequently originates in the left atrium.
- Received September 26, 1969.
- Accepted January 8, 1970.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.