Demonstration of the presence of slow conduction during sustained ventricular tachycardia in man: use of transient entrainment of the tachycardia.
To test the hypothesis that an area of slow conduction is present during reentrant ventricular tachycardia in man, and that the earliest activation site during ventricular tachycardia is within or orthodromically just distal to the area of slow conduction in the reentry loop, we studied 12 episodes of ventricular tachycardia (mean rate 185 +/- 32 beats/min) that were induced in nine patients with ischemic heart disease. Rapid ventricular pacing was performed at selected sites during ventricular tachycardia while recording electrograms from an early activation site relative to the onset of the QRS complex (site A) and from a site close to the pacing site (site B). Rapid pacing from the right ventricular apex during ventricular tachycardia with a right bundle branch block pattern and from selected left ventricular sites during ventricular tachycardia with a left bundle branch block pattern (mean pacing rate 202 +/- 38 beats/min) resulted in constant ventricular fusion beats on the electrocardiogram except for the last captured beat (i.e., the ventricular tachycardia was entrained) in 11 of 12 episodes. During entrainment: sites A and B were activated at the pacing rate, conduction time from the last pacing impulse to the last captured ventricular electrogram at site A (St-A interval) was 359 +/- 69 msec and spanned the diastolic interval, while that at site B (St-B interval) was only 28 +/- 13 msec, site A had the same ventricular electrogram morphology as that during ventricular tachycardia, while site B had a different electrogram morphology, indicating that site A was activated in the same direction during entrainment as during ventricular tachycardia. Eight episodes of ventricular tachycardia were entrained at two or more different pacing rates. The St-A interval increased during pacing at the faster rate(s) in four of eight episodes, while the St-B interval remained unchanged. Rapid ventricular pacing performed from the same site during sinus rhythm (mean pacing rate 201 +/- 37 beats/min) resulted in an St-A interval of 103 +/- 37 msec (p less than .001 vs the value during entrainment) and an St-B interval of 31 +/- 15 msec (p = NS vs the value during entrainment). It is concluded that an area of slow conduction not demonstrable during sinus rhythm exists during ventricular tachycardia, and that the earliest activation site during ventricular tachycardia is at or orthodromically distal to this area of slow conduction.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association