The relationship between the strength of the human heart beat and the interval between beats.
In 15 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization and pacing tests, the left ventricular (LV) pressure and its maximum rate of rise (LV dP/dt max) were measured with catheter-tip manometers. Atrial or ventricular pacing at a single steady frequency (the priming frequency) was followed by a test pulse at a varying interval (test pulse interval). In 14 subjects in whom it was examined, the contractile response after the test pulse increased with test pulse interval to reach a maximum plateau value--the optimum contractile response (OCR). In five cases, further prolongation of the test pulse interval decreased the contractile response. The optimum test pulse interval occurred at 800-900 msec. An increase in the priming frequency before the introduction of the test pulse caused a progressive increase in OCR, in contrast to the minor effects on LV dP/dt max of the control beats. Similar results were recorded in four other patients in whom contractile response was assessed from the rate of rise of right ventricular pressure. These results indicate that with tachycardia, the interval between beats is insufficient to allow maximum contractile performance (presumed to be activated by calcium ions) to develop. The true effect of increasing heart rate is only revealed by the relationship between OCR and the preceding frequency of contraction.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association