Effects of pericardial effusates of various conductivities on body-surface potentials in dogs. Documentation of the eccentric spheres model.
The purpose of this study was to discover the cause and magnitude of changes in the body-surface potentials occurring when: (1) fluids of various conductivity were added to the pericardial sac, or (2) the volume of the blood within chambers of the heart was either increased or decreased. Fluids added to the pericardium were physiological saline, whole-blood, and mineral oil. Magnitudes of body-surface potentials were compared to the predictions based on a mathematical eccentric spheres model of the heart and torso developed previously by Rudy and Plonsey. Data demonstrated conclusively that there is a nonlinear relationship between the body-surface potentials and the conductivity of the pericardial layer. This relationship is one in which the body-surface potentials of the anterior chest were found to decrease when conductivity of the pericardial layer was either increased or decreased. These changes in body-surface potentials were caused solely by alterations in the conductivity and volume of the fluid effusate. It was demonstrated that these changes were not caused by any "stretching" or "compression" of the cardiac tissue caused by the altered fluid volumes in and around the heart. Findings were accurately predicted by the eccentric spheres model, thereby confirming the model's usefulness as a predictive instrument. The model provides an explanation for the nonlinear relationship that was exhibited by the data.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association