Premature escape beats. A model for triggered activity in the intact heart?
In conscious dogs with complete atrioventricular block, overdrive pacing of the idioventricular rhythm normally results in overdrive suppression (OS). Frequently, however, we observed another response to overdrive, that is, QRS complex or complexes with unexpectedly short coupling intervals followed by normal OS. We have named such a QRS complex a "premature escape beat" (PEB). Based on the response of PEBs to electrical stimulation, we postulate that PEBs are based on triggered activity resulting from delayed afterdepolarizations. This hypothesis was tested in 82 experiments by 1) stimulation under control conditions and in combination with 2) subtoxic and toxic amounts of ouabain 20-50 micrograms/kg, 3) lidocaine 3 mg/kg, and 4) doxorubicin 16-24 mg/m2. The stimulation protocol, which was repeated at random five to 10 times, consisted of 10 and 50 stimuli using interstimulus intervals of 200, 400, 600, and 800 msec. This protocol was not only performed during spontaneous idioventricular rhythm but also during a continuously paced rhythm with interstimulus intervals of 800 msec. It was found that 1) the chance to induce a PEB or PEBs increased and 2) their first postpacing interval significantly decreased using short or fast drives, or both. Ouabain increased significantly and in a dose-dependent manner 1) the ability to induce PEBs and 2) the number of PEBs per stimulation-train, and also shortened their first postpacing interval. Opposite effects were seen after lidocaine, doxorubicin, and continuous pacing as follows: 1) a lower incidence of PEBs and 2) lengthening of their first postpacing interval. These results support our hypothesis that PEBs are based on triggered activity resulting from delayed afterdepolarizations.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association