Sequential unipolar strength-interval curves and conduction times during myocardial ischemia and reperfusion in the dog.
Computerized techniques were employed to generate alternating anodal and cathodal or sequential anodal strength-interval curves during and following 15-minute coronary artery ligations in 14 anesthetized dogs. The right atrium was paced at 2.5 Hz, and unipolar ventricular strength-interval curves with simultaneous conduction times were recorded every 45-120 seconds during ischemia and reperfusion. Within 1--2 minutes of ligation, anodal midcurve and late diastolic thresholds fell sharply, and cathodal thresholds fell slightly or changed little. After 5 minutes of ischemia, anodal thresholds remained low, cathodal thresholds rose, and conduction times increased. At 10--15 minutes of ligation, if the ischemic zone was small, anodal thresholds were low, often approaching cathodal values, and conduction returned toward control values. When the ischemic zone was large, unipolar thresholds and conduction times increased late during the ligation period. Throughout the course of ischemia, the falling limb of the strength-interval curve shifted progressively to the left indicating shorter refractory periods. Following abrupt reperfusion, anodal phase 3 dips promptly reappeared; refractory periods returned toward control, and supernormal conduction was noted. By 3--5 minutes of reperfusion, the falling limb of the strength-interval curve had shifted to the right of control and conduction times increased. Thus, vulnerability to arrhythmias during early ischemia (i.e., 5 minutes) is characterized by low anodal midcurves and late diastolic thresholds, short refractory periods, and slow conduction. During the first minute of reperfusion, anodal excitability is increased during the early dip and conduction times are supernormal. Increases in anodal excitability correlate better with the peak incidence of early ligation and reperfusion arrhythmias than do changes in cathodal excitability.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association