Electrical and mechanical restitution of the human heart at different rates of stimulation.
Action potential duration and contractility are reduced following premature excitations, and gradually increase as the stimulus interval is lengthened. To examine these phenomena of electrical and mechanical restitution in the human heart, we simultaneously measured action potential duration and the maximum rate of left ventricular pressure in five patients undergoing electrophysiological study. Test beats were introduced at varying intervals after the last of a series of steady state intervals. By plotting action potential duration and maximum rate of left ventricular pressure as a function of the test interval, we formed electrical and mechanical restitution curves. When the rate of steady state pacing was increased, there was a decrease in action potential duration and an increase in the maximum rate of left ventricular pressure for all test intervals; i.e., a change in pacing rate affected action potential duration and maximum rate of left ventricular pressure of test responses in a reciprocal fashion. In addition, a higher steady state pacing rate allowed action potentials and contractile responses to be elicited at shorter test intervals, thereby displacing the electrical and mechanical restitution curves to the left. The magnitude of the leftward shift of both curves corresponded closely to the shortening of the steady state action potential duration induced by the increase in pacing rate. These findings confirm for the human heart that both electrical and mechanical restitution occur after membrane repolarization, i.e., as a function of the electrical diastolic interval preceding a beat, and not the stimulus interval.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association