Re-entrant ventricular arrhythmias in the late myocardial infarction period. 1. Conduction characteristics in the infarction zone.
Dogs 3-7 days following ligation of the anterior descending coronary artery representing a remarkably stable model for re-entrant ventricular arrhythmias (RVA) and allowed detailed electrophysiologic studies of the re-entrant mechanism. In these dogs, we could regularly illustrate the presence of continuous electrical activity originating from the infarction zone (IZ) and bridging the diastolic interval between the initiating and re-entrant beats as well as between consecutive re-entrant beats. Conduction in the IZ was highly complex, with multiple potentially re-entrant pathways, functionally dissociated areas, and areas of localized ventricular fibrillation. Conduction disorders in ischemic myocardium were consistently tachycardia-dependent with the spontaneous onset of RVA specifically associated with a Wenckebach-like conduction pattern in a potentially re-entrant pathway. Both manifest and concealed re-entry, as well as re-entrant beats with regular extrasystolic grouping, constant or variable coupling, uniform multiform and bidirectional QRS configurations, were related to characteristic conduction patterns in the IZ. In summary, the study provides the first direct in vivo evidence of ventricular re-entry and demonstrates propensity for RVA and sudden death in the late myocardial infarction period.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association