Analysis of interectopic activation patterns during sustained ventricular tachycardia.
We analyzed the patterns of interectopic continuous electrical activity recorded within interectopic intervals of sustained ventricular tachycardias. These arrhythmias were induced in dogs that were studied 4 days after left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion. Standard ECG leads and electrograms from the His bundle and left ventricular epicardium, both infarct and normal zone, were recorded. In 19 of 24 dogs with transmural myocardial infarction, one to three ventricular paced beats induced sustained ventricular tachycardia, characterized by continuous electrical activity between the initiating and spontaneous ectopic beat and between successive ectopic beats recorded from the epicardium over the infarct zone but not from the normal epicardium. Continuous activity consisted of discrete potentials that were reproduced in each cardiac cycle, suggesting slow conduction within a reentrant circuit. The interectopic activity was divided into three distinct temporal periods, delineated by potentials occurring at the initial portion, the mid-interectopic portion and terminal portion or exit of the slow conduction segment of the presumed reentrant circuit. In some cases, sustained ventricular tachycardia was induced only if an appropriate initial potential was engaged. Spontaneous termination of the sustained ventricular tachycardia was associated with Wenckebach-like block of conduction in the initial or exit potential. Ventricular pacing caused alteration of the interectopic patterns and resulted in cessation of the arrhythmia. Procainamide produced dose-dependent slowing of the ectopic rate due to depression of conduction in the mid-interectopic portion of the continuous electric activity. Inducibility of the sustained ventricular tachycardia was inhibited by decremental conduction in this compartment of the presumed reentry circuit. The present study uses a preparation showing sustained ventricular tachycardia that is stable and regular. Functional analysis of the various portions of the continuous electrical activity during sustained tachycardias allows further insight into the mechanisms of initiation and termination of sustained ventricular tachycardias. The ability to localize the effect of antiarrhythmic drugs on specific portions of a possible reentrant circuit may provide important correlative data for the analysis and interpretation of detailed epicardial mapping studies.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association