Electrical Stimulation of the Heart in Patients with Ventricular Tachycardia
The initiation and termination of tachycardias were studied in five patients who suffered from recurrent attacks of ventricular tachycardia. In four, coronary artery disease with old myocardial infarction was present. A ventricular tachycardia could be initiated in all patients by a single right ventricular premature beat given during regular driving of the right ventricle. The tachycardia could be terminated by a single right ventricular premature beat, or two right ventricular premature beats given in close succession. In four of our patients an early right ventricular premature beat was followed by the next QRS complex of the tachycardia after an interval shorter than compensatory. Our results favor reentry as the causal mechanism for the tachycardias in our patients. Possible pathways for circus reentry leading to ventricular tachycardia can theoretically be composed of (1) the bundle branches, (2) Purkinje fibers with or without adjacent ventricular myocardium, (3) infarcted or fibrotic ventricular tissue, and (4) combinations of (1), (2), and (3).
- Received December 7, 1971.
- Accepted March 24, 1972.
- © 1972 American Heart Association, Inc.