Intramural reentry as a mechanism of ventricular tachycardia during evolving canine myocardial infarction.
We evaluated the contribution of intramural electrical events in initiation and maintenance of ventricular tachycardia in 15 dogs 3-8 days after either permanent (n = 2) or transient (n = 13) coronary artery occlusion. Seven of the dogs (47%) demonstrated eight distinct monomorphic ventricular tachycardia patterns which were mapped by means of a recently designed computerized system capable of simultaneously detecting, storing, and assessing information from 232 individual cardiac sites. Using both epicardial and intramural electrodes, we found definitive evidence for intramural reentry in seven of the eight monomorphic tachycardias analyzed. Furthermore, five of these animals (71%) demonstrated microreentry, in which small epicardial conduction loops exited intermittently into nonrefractory subendocardium to initiate succeeding beats, while, in the remaining two dogs, ventricular tachycardia was due to macroreentry, during which the broad subendocardial wavefronts depolarizing the ventricle constituted the proximal (fast) reentry limbs. Detailed anatomical analysis of the resultant infarcts demonstrated the thin surviving epicardial tissue rim to be the site of conduction delay necessary for reentry, whereas "preferred pathways" of exit into the subendocardial plane occurred at the infarct borders and were of variable configuration. Successful interruption of these rhythms should accompany interference with the process of exit into nonrefractory subendocardial tissue.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association