Multiplexing studies of effects of rapid atrial pacing on the area of slow conduction during atrial flutter in canine pericarditis model.
BACKGROUND We report that rapid atrial pacing interrupts atrial flutter when the orthodromic wave front from the pacing impulse is blocked in an area of slow conduction in the reentry circuit. To characterize the area of slow conduction during atrial flutter and rapid pacing, we studied 11 episodes of induced atrial flutter, mean cycle length 157 +/- 20 msec, in eight dogs with sterile pericarditis.
METHODS AND RESULTS Atrial electrograms were recorded simultaneously from 95 pairs of right atrial electrodes during the interruption of atrial flutter by rapid atrial pacing, mean cycle length 139 +/- 21 msec. Areas of slow conduction during atrial flutter were demonstrated at one to three sites in the reentry circuit. After rapid pacing captured the reentry circuit, one area of slow conduction either disappeared (10 episodes) or the degree of slow conduction in an area of slow conduction decreased (one episode). Both changes were in association with activation of the region by a wave front from the pacing impulse that arrived from a direction different than that during the induced atrial flutter. Interruption of atrial flutter during rapid pacing occurred when the orthodromic wave front from the pacing impulse blocked in an area of slow conduction that had either newly evolved during rapid pacing (seven episodes) or that was previously present (four episodes).
CONCLUSIONS Areas of slow conduction present during atrial flutter and rapid pacing of atrial flutter are functional and depend on both the atrial rate and the direction of the circulating wave fronts. Interruption of atrial flutter by rapid pacing results from block of the orthodromic wave front of the pacing impulse in an area of slow conduction in the reentry circuit.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association