An Experimental Study of Propagated Electrical Activity in the Canine Heart
The closest analog to propagated excitation of the heart is an electromotive surface. The width of the cardiac electromotive surface was 0.9 ± 0.1 mm and was remarkably constant. The mean epicardial surface component of voltage across the electromotive surface was 62.4 ± 7.2 mv with the chest closed and 74.1 ± 8.3 mv with the chest open. This 18.7% increase is significant (P < .001) and suggests a shunting effect of the lungs and thorax. Fortuitous measurement of voltage across the electromotive surface yielded nine values in excess of 80 mv and two above 90 mv, suggesting that the true voltage across the electromotive surface is of about the same magnitude as the transmembrane action potential. Cross-fiber activation resulted in a 29.5% reduction in voltage, a 51.8% reduction in conduction velocity and notched QRS complexes.
A closed electromotive surface has no external electrical field, suggesting that its voltage is uniform. The voltage between two electrodes, both in advance or toward the rear of a normally propagated open electromotive surface, is caused by an extracardiac current path, since removal of the lung from the epicardial surface greatly reduces this voltage and augments that across the electromotive surface.
- cardiac electromotive surface
- conduction velocity
- cardiac activation
- cross-fiber activation
- propagated excitation
- cardiac voltage
- lead field
- cardiac electric field
- Received August 25, 1969.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.