Ventricular reentry around a fixed barrier. Resetting with advancement in an in vitro model.
We studied an in vitro model of reentrant tachycardia in a ring of ventricular endocardial tissue surrounding the canine mitral and aortic valves to understand how the response of a reentrant tachycardia to premature impulses can provide insight into the underlying tachycardia mechanism, circuit characteristics, and nature of the central barrier. Reproducible regular reentrant tachycardias (cycle length range, 177-450 msec) were induced with programmed stimulation in 19 intact preparations studied at 34-38 degrees C. Tachycardias were sustained and stable until terminated by programmed stimulation in 95% of preparations. Reentry was reliably reinitiated during experiments lasting 2-15 hours. Data supporting reentry as the mechanism of these tachycardias included sequential activation around the ring that spanned the cycle length of the tachycardia, unidirectional block during initiation of the reentrant rhythm, and termination of the tachycardia after interruption of the circuit. Tachycardias in 13 preparations were systematically reset by premature stimuli. During reentry, each of these preparations had full recovery of excitability by the end of their excitable gap as evidenced by a flat portion along their resetting response curve (eight of 13) or by lack of faster conduction velocity during the second poststimulus beat after premature impulses that produced a long return cycle (13 of 13). From analysis of the conduction of premature impulses and their return cycles, we reached several conclusions useful for interpreting resetting response curves when the reentrant circuit is not fully accessible for study. The duration of a flat portion of the resetting response curve indicated the duration of the shortest fully recovered excitable gap in the reentrant circuit. The window of reset of the tachycardia reflected only the local excitable gap at the site of stimulation and did not define the shortest excitable gap within the circuit. The extent of advancement of the tachycardia provided a lower-limit estimate of the shortest excitable gap in the reentrant circuit. Advancement of a tachycardia in time by premature stimuli indicated advancement at each point in the circuit. Finally, for tachycardias advanced by premature impulses, the length of the reentrant path cannot be determined by the recovery of a refractory barrier.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association