High-current stimuli to the spared epicardium of a large infarct induce ventricular tachycardia.
BACKGROUND Previous studies have demonstrated that both ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF) may begin as figure-eight reentry: VT with a longer cycle length from spared tissue adjacent to an infarct by programmed stimulation and VF with a shorter cycle length from noninfarcted tissue by a large premature S2 stimulus. These results suggest that the type of tissue or cycle length of the arrhythmia rather than the mode of induction determines whether the figure eight becomes sustained VT or degenerates into VF. Thus, a protocol similar to that by which a VF threshold is determined may induce VT rather than VF when performed in the spared tissue over an infarct.
METHODS AND RESULTS In 10 dogs, 4 days after occlusion-reperfusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery, 10 S1 stimuli were delivered from a total of 34 right and left ventricular sites outside the infarct. An epicardial S2 stimulus over the infarct was increased in 10-mA steps and introduced in diastole at decreasing cycle lengths of 5 msec until VT or VF was induced. Sustained monomorphic figure-eight VT was induced from 24 S1 sites and VF from nine (p = 0.03). The mean cycle lengths for the initial six arrhythmic cycles was 152 +/- 33 msec for VT and 115 +/- 13 msec for VF (p less than 0.001). Mean transmural infarct extent was 80% in five dogs with only VT, 63% in three dogs with both VT and VF, and 15% in two dogs with only VF. Different morphologies of VT were induced by changing the S1 site, the S2 strength, or the S1S2 coupling interval. In 25 of the 34 arrhythmias, the central part of the initial figure-eight pathway was oriented opposite the S1 activation sequence in that region.
CONCLUSIONS A large S2 stimulus over a nontransmural infarct induces VT if the spared myocardium is thin. This study introduces a useful technique for inducing sustained monomorphic VT in which the location and direction of the figure-eight pathway are known a priori and in which different morphologies of sustained VT can be produced by changing the S1 site.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association