Effect of sudden rate acceleration on the human His-Purkinje system: adaptation of refractoriness in a dampened oscillatory pattern.
Although the refractoriness of the human His-Purkinje system (HPS) during constant-cycle length pacing appears to be closely related to the cycle length of the stimulation, the mode of adaptation of this refractoriness with sudden rate acceleration is not well understood. A systematic evaluation of this adaptation was performed in 14 patients with normal QRS durations and HV intervals referred for electrophysiologic evaluation. The relative refractory period of the HPS (HPS-RRP) was evaluated by the extrastimulus (S2) method during a constant ventricular drive (S1) having a cycle length as close to sinus rhythm as possible. An accelerated train of 6 ventricular beats (S1') was then added to the constant drive and the HPS-RRP of each successive beat of this train was similarly determined. Mean S1 cycle length was 750 +/- 164 msec (range 600 to 1000). Mean S1' cycle length was 475 +/- 55 msec (range 400 to 600). The HPS-RRP of each successive beat of the accelerated train was significantly shorter than that during the S1 drive and behaved in a dampened oscillatory fashion alternating from a lower value on the odd-numbered beats to a higher value on the even-numbered beats. In contrast, the effective and relative refractory periods of the ventricular myocardium during the accelerated train behaved in a cumulative manner, decreasing progressively with the first 2 beats of the train before reaching a plateau value. In conclusion, the data reported here present a new and intriguing picture of the mode of adaptation of the HPS refractoriness to sudden rate acceleration. At least in the range of the cycle lengths used in this study, the refractoriness of the HPS behaves in a dampened oscillatory manner that is radically different from the behavior of the ventricular myocardial refractoriness.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association