Anisotropic conduction and functional dissociation of ischemic tissue during reentrant ventricular tachycardia in canine myocardial infarction.
We measured the conduction characteristics at the epicardial surface of the left anterior ventricular wall in the in situ canine heart before and 3 to 5 days (n = 9 dogs) after permanent occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). During ventricular stimulation generating wavefronts conducted along the longitudinal or the transverse fiber direction, 61 unipolar electrograms were recorded with a fine-meshed plaque electrode. Before occlusion, the fastest conduction velocity was consistently found in a direction perpendicular to the nearby LAD segment (longitudinal direction), and the slowest velocity in a direction parallel to the LAD segment (transverse fiber direction). In 3- to 5-day-old infarct preparations, a layer of subepicardial muscle with 1 to 3 mm thickness survived over necrotic tissue. The velocities and directions of fast and of slow conduction measured in ischemic subepicardial muscle were not significantly different from preocclusion values during stimulation at a basic rate, but excitability was found to be depressed in response to premature stimuli. Premature impulses initiated in nonischemic myocardium and conducted into ischemic tissue in the longitudinal or in the transverse directions induced sustained (greater than 100 beats) monomorphic tachycardias during which figure-eight activation patterns were mapped with sock-array electrodes. During these tachycardias, the direction of the common reentrant wavefront of the figure-eight pattern was preferentially oriented along the longitudinal fiber direction, independently of the direction of the initiating impulse. When polymorphic beats were induced, tachycardia terminated spontaneously within 20 beats, or changed to a monomorphic pattern, as described above. In conclusion, the anisotropic organization of surviving subepicardial muscle overlying an infarct provides a spatial constraint that determines a preferential direction of reentrant propagation and may contribute to sustaining monomorphic tachycardia.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association