Dispersion of refractoriness in canine ventricular myocardium. Effects of sympathetic stimulation.
In 18 dogs on total cardiopulmonary bypass, the average interval between local activations during artificially induced ventricular fibrillation (VF interval) was measured from extracellular electrograms, simultaneously recorded from up to 32 ventricular sites. VF intervals were used as an index of local refractoriness, based on the assumption that during ventricular fibrillation, cells are reexcited as soon as they have recovered their excitability. In support of this, microelectrode recordings in two hearts during ventricular fibrillation did not show a diastolic interval between successive action potentials. Refractory periods determined at a basic cycle length of 300 msec with the extrastimulus method correlated well with VF intervals measured at the same sites. Thus, this technique allows assessment of spatial dispersion of refractoriness during brief interventions such as sympathetic stimulation. The responses to left, right, and combined stellate ganglion stimulation varied substantially among individual hearts. This was observed both in dogs with an intact (n = 12) and decentralized (n = 6) autonomic nervous system. Individual ventricular sites could show effects of both left and right stellate ganglion stimulation (42% of tested sites) or show effects of left-sided stimulation only (31%) or right-sided stimulation only (14%). In 13% of sites, no effects of stellate stimulation were observed. Apart from these regional effects, the responses could be qualitatively different; that is, within the same heart, the VF interval prolonged at one site but shortened at another in response to the same intervention, although shortening was the general effect and prolongation the exception. Whenever sites responded to stellate ganglion stimulation with a shortening of VF interval, this shortening was approximately 10% for left, right, or combined stimulation, whether the autonomic nervous system was intact or decentralized. In six of 12 hearts in the intact group, there was a distinct regional effect of left stellate ganglion stimulation; in the other six hearts, the effects were distributed homogeneously over the ventricles. In three hearts, the effect of left stellate ganglion stimulation was strongest in the posterior wall, and in the other three hearts, in the anterior wall. The effects of right stellate ganglion stimulation were restricted to the anterior or lateral part of the left ventricle. Dispersion of VF intervals increased after left and combined stellate ganglion stimulation in the intact group and after right stellate ganglion stimulation in the decentralized group, but not significantly in every heart. This points to a marked individual variation with regard to the effects of sympathetic stimulation on electrophysiological properties of the heart.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association