Electrophysiologic and anatomic basis for fractionated electrograms recorded from healed myocardial infarcts.
The electrophysiologic and anatomic basis for fractionated electrograms were investigated in superfused epicardial preparations from infarcted canine hearts. Fractionated bipolar electrograms were frequently recorded in preparations from infarcts 2 weeks to 18 months old but only rarely in preparations from 5-day-old infarcts. The fractionated electrograms were not caused by movement artifacts. They were not associated with depressed transmembrane resting or action potentials (which were found in the 5-day-old infarcts), but rather transmembrane potentials recorded in the vicinity of the bipolar electrodes were normal. Despite the normal transmembrane potentials, activation time in regions where fractionated electrograms occurred was prolonged. However, prolonged activation time by itself did not cause fractionation, since fractionated electrograms were not recorded from normal preparations in which conduction was markedly slowed by a superfusate containing 16 mM potassium and epinephrine. Unipolar electrograms recorded with glass microelectrodes (tip size 1 to 5 microns) showed that activation in regions where fractionated electrograms were recorded was inhomogeneous. Prepotentials were found preceding the upstrokes of some action potentials in regions where double potentials were recorded, suggesting the possibility of electrotonic transmission across high resistance or inexcitable gaps, but no electrotonic potentials were seen in regions with multicomponent fractionated electrograms. Fractionated electrograms were recorded in regions where infarct healing caused wide separation of individual myocardial fibers while distorting their orientation. The anatomic changes probably caused slow and inhomogeneous activation.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association