Nonuniform epicardial activation and repolarization properties of in vivo canine pulmonary conus.
The relation between nonuniform epicardial activation and ventricular repolarization properties was studied in 14 pentobarbital anesthetized dogs and with a computer model. In 11 dogs, isochrone maps of epicardial activation sequence were constructed from electrograms recorded from the pulmonary conus with 64 electrodes on an 8 X 8 grid with 2-mm electrode separation. The heart was paced from multiple sites on the periphery of the array. Uniformity of epicardial activation was estimated from activation times at test sites and their eight neighboring sites. Acceleration shortened and deceleration prolonged refractory periods. The locations of acceleration and deceleration sites of activation differed during drives from various sites, and differences in uniformity of activation during pairs of drives were correlated to differences in refractory periods (r = 0.76, range 0.59-0.93). In three additional experiments, transmural activation sequence maps were constructed from electrograms recorded from needle-mounted electrodes placed upstream and downstream to epicardial activation delays. Activation proceeded from epicardium to endocardium upstream to the delays and from endocardium to epicardium downstream to the delays. A computer simulation of two-dimensional action potential propagation based on the Beeler-Reuter myocardial membrane model provided insights to the mechanism for the results of the animal experiments. The two-dimensional sheet modeled the transmural anisotropic histology of the canine pulmonary conus and corresponded to previous reports and histology of specimens from five experiments. Simulated activation patterns were similar to those found in the experimental animals. In addition, action potentials were electronically prolonged at sites of deceleration and shortened at sites of acceleration, results comparable to the animal experiments. Our findings demonstrate that the location of areas of nonuniform epicardial activation is dependent on drive site and that nonuniform activation electronically modulates repolarization properties. Therefore it seems likely that the site of origin of ectopic ventricular complexes, especially in ischemic myocardium where activation is nonuniform, could be an important determinant of whether ectopic activity initiates sustained tachyarrhythmias.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association