T wave changes persisting after ventricular pacing in canine heart are altered by 4-aminopyridine but not by lidocaine. Implications with respect to phenomenon of cardiac 'memory'.
BACKGROUND Cardiac "memory" refers to changes in T wave polarity induced by ventricular pacing that persist long after resumption of normal atrioventricular conduction.
METHODS AND RESULTS We studied the occurrence and mechanism of T wave changes in the open-chest anesthetized dog subjected to three discontinuous 20-minute periods of right ventricular pacing. ECG changes were recorded in the standard limb leads during normal conduction (prepacing) and three trains (T1, T2, and T3) of right ventricular pacing at a rate 50% higher than normal (pacing), each followed by a period of normal conduction (postpacing) lasting as long as necessary for T wave changes to return to control values. During each of these phases, heart rate, QRS, corrected QT (QTc) duration, and T wave amplitude were measured. In the first group (control), T wave inversions occurred during normal atrioventricular conduction after a period of right ventricular pacing. These T wave anomalies appeared in the absence of any change in heart rate, QRS, or QTc duration. The magnitude of the T wave amplitude change was significantly greater after each successive pacing period. Furthermore, the changes in T wave morphology persisted for a longer period after each successive pacing train. In a second experimental group, lidocaine, which depresses the sodium window current, was administered to six dogs that were subjected to the same pacing protocol. Lidocaine decreased the QTc interval and prolonged QRS duration but did not alter the magnitude of changes in T wave amplitude and time to recovery described in control animals during the three postpacing intervals. In contrast, in the third group, 4-aminopyridine, a drug that blocks the transient outward current (ito), abolished the changes in T wave morphology that occurred during any postpacing interval.
CONCLUSIONS These results demonstrate that the manifestation of cardiac memory in the in situ dog heart is not altered by lidocaine but is abolished by 4-aminopyridine. Thus, cardiac memory may be based on a physiological property of the myocardium that is related to specific K+ channels.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association