Electrophysiological effects of acute ventricular dilatation in the isolated rabbit heart.
We examined the effects of left ventricular dilatation on epicardial pacing threshold, conduction velocity, and effective refractory period (ERP) in the isolated, retrograde perfused rabbit heart. Left ventricular size was modified by acutely changing the volume of a fluid-filled balloon anchored within the vented left ventricle. Increases in left ventricular volume, associated with increases in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure from 0 +/- 1 to 35 +/- 2 mm Hg, were not associated with significant changes in pacing threshold or conduction velocity. The left ventricular ERP decreased significantly with an added volume of 1.5 ml (91.4 +/- 5.5 msec) compared with starting volume (117.7 +/- 3.8 msec, p less than 0.01). Right ventricular ERP did not change significantly with increases in left ventricular volume. The left and right ventricular ERPs were comparable at starting volume (117.7 +/- 3.8 and 117.6 +/- 3.5 msec, respectively; p = NS) but were significantly different with an added volume of 1.5 ml (91.4 +/- 5.5 and 112 +/- 5.6 msec, p less than 0.05). These changes were independent of coronary perfusion pressure and paced cycle length, suggesting that ischemia is an unlikely explanation for the observed effects. Changes in left ventricular volume decreased left ventricular ERP in a regionally heterogeneous manner, increasing the temporal dispersion of recovery over the left ventricle nearly twofold. Induced ventricular arrhythmias (ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation) were significantly more frequent at high (35%) than at low (3%) volumes during left ventricular pacing. We conclude that ventricular dilatation is associated with increased dispersion of refractoriness in this model, a finding that correlates with propensity for reentrant arrhythmias.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association