Vulnerability of the mildly ischemic ventricle to cathodal, anodal, and bipolar stimulation.
We studied the difference between myocardial vulnerability to arrhythmias caused by cathodal, anodal, and bipolar stimulation in 29 dogs with partial right coronary artery occlusion. We used 2-msec duration stimuli of up to 8 mA to determine the ventricular vulnerable periods, their relationship to the refractory periods, and the fibrillation or multiple response thresholds for unipolar anodal and cathodal stimulation after two premature ventricular contractions. The vulnerable period for arrhythmias began at the end of the respective refractory periods and terminated at a specific time within the cardiac cycle. Within this period the arrhythmia and excitation thresholds were equal. Because shorter refractory periods were obtained with anodal stimulation than cathodal, the vulnerable periods for anodal stimulation were longer. This indicated that the vulnerable periods for bipolar stimulation also would be longer than for unipolar cathodal stimulation since bipolar and anodal refractory periods are equal when the cathode and anode are of similar surface area. Results from seven of the experiments showed that a dual focus of excitation, which can only occur with bipolar stimulation, did not make the ventricle more vulnerable to arrhythmias than did unifocal stimulation. These results indicate that the difference between the arrhythmia vulnerability to unipolar cathodal, anodal, and bipolar stimulation is dependent on the relationship between their excitability characteristics, i.e., their strength-interval curves.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association