Reentry as a cause of ventricular tachycardia in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease: electrophysiologic and anatomic correlation.
In this report we describe electrophysiologic and histologic findings in hearts and endocardially resected preparations from patients with sustained ventricular tachycardias in the chronic phase of myocardial infarction. We recorded simultaneously from 64 endocardial sites during tachycardia in 72 patients that were operated on for medically intractable ventricular tachycardias. Two other patients underwent heart transplantation, and mapping was performed on the explanted isolated heart connected to a Langendorff perfusion set-up. During operation 139 tachycardias with different morphologies could be induced. Although the majority of evidence supports the concept of a reentrant mechanism for these tachycardias, we found that 105 tachycardias appeared to arise at a focal area of less than 1.4 cm2. In only three cases macroreentry around the infarction scar could be detected. Of 21 tachycardias in which the "origin" appeared to be focal, earliest subendocardial activation was preceded by discrete electrograms of low amplitude (presystolic activity). In three tachycardias presystolic activity was detected at several sites, permitting reconstruction of its route. Histology of the endocardial resected preparation in one of these cases revealed separate zones of viable myocardial fibers in areas in which presystolic activity was recorded. These zones were located intramurally and subendocardially, supporting the concept that reentry occurred via isolated bundles of surviving myocytes at the border of the infarct and the larger subendocardial muscle mass. Conduction velocity through the isolated tracts was on the order of 25 cm/sec. Similar reentrant pathways were found in the two isolated hearts. Extracellular and intracellular recordings were made from 20 endocardial preparations that were excised from areas in which tachycardia originated. Preparations were superfused in a tissue bath. These experiments showed that action potentials were usually close to normal, but occasionally action potentials with reduced amplitude and slow upstrokes were found. In addition, there were cells that exhibited both fast and slow upstrokes, depending on the direction of the wavefront. Histology of seven resected preparations and the isolated hearts showed subendocardially as well as intramurally located zones of viable myocardium. Fractionation of extracellular electrograms and slow conduction were found in areas where surviving muscle fibers and strands of fibrous tissue were interwoven, and in zones where muscle fibers were oriented in parallel but isolated by strands of connective tissue.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association