Disorders of cellular electrophysiology produced by ischemia of the canine His bundle.
In the first 4 hours after occlusion of the anterior septal coronary artery, 18 dogs developed bundle branch block, heart block, or both. The hearts were then excised, and preparations were dissected to expose the His bundle and the bundle branches, which were superfused with modified Tyrode's solution at 37 degrees C. In the His bundle and the most proximal bundle branches, resting potentials were reduced and diminutive action potentials had slow upstrokes, often with notches or steps. Action potentials were generated by fibers that had resting potentials between--40 and --50 mv. Conduction was impaired; conduction velocities less than 0.01 m/sec were sometimes observed. In more severely affected cells, refractoriness outlasted repolarization. Encroachment on the prolonged refractory period resulted in further diminution of action potentials and continuous rather than intermittent block. More commonly, the response to rapid rate took the form of intermittent block with progressive conduction delay in the series of conducted beats, culminating in a blocked beat (Wenckebach sequence). There was a fatigue factor that accumulated at short cycle lengths and depressed the action potential. Automaticity was not enhanced, but pacemaker function was abnormal. The threshold potential shifted erratically, and pacemaker potentials sometimes were intermittently diminished, resulting in intermittent failure to propagate. During prolonged superfusion, there was a tendency to recover with a drift of the maximum diastolic potentials toward more negative levels. None of these changes were found in ten hearts excised from dogs in which the coronary artery had not been ligated.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association