The effect of digitalis on refractoriness of the intact canine His-Purkinje system.
The effect of therapeutic doses of digitalis on functional (F), relative (R) and effective (E) refractory periods (RP) of the His-Purkinje system (HPS) was studied in 12 open-chested, innervated adult mongrel dogs (10-20 kg) during control and 15, 30 and 45-60 min after 0.016 mg/kg of intravenous ouabain. To determine the stability of the preparation and to assess time-dependent changes in His-Purkinje refractoriness, another six dogs (Group II) had similar studies, but without drug administration. In all dogs, the His bundle was paced by using the plunge wire technique at a predetermined cycle length (CL) and a premature stimulus (S2) to the His bundle was introduced at decreasing S1 S2 intervals. Following ouabain, in Group I dogs, at the longest Cls tested (458 +/- 125 msec; +/- SD) there was significant increase in the FRP (+4.34%; P less than 0.05), RRP (S2 V2 (+6.57%, P less than 0.05), RRP (Ab) (+6%, P less than 0.05) and ERP (52%, P less than 0.05) of the HPS. These significant changes were generally observed 30 minutes after drug administration. Changes in RPs were of greater magnitude at longer CLs (greater than 400 msec), but insignificant at shorter CLs (less than 400 msec). The H-V interval during sinus rhythm and the S1 V1 interval during His bundle pacing at all CLs did not change after ouabain. In Group II dogs there were no significant change in His-Purkinje refractoriness over 60 minutes. These findings suggest that therapeutic doses of digitalis 1) tend to increase refractoriness within the HPS to a very small degree, 2) have no appreciable effect on His-Purkinje conduction, and 3) affect CL-dependent changes in refractoriness. The His bundle extrastimulus method is useful in studying the HPS in the intact heart.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association