Ventricular fibrillation in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is associated with increased fractionation of paced right ventricular electrograms.
BACKGROUND Intraventricular conduction in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) has been characterized to test the hypothesis that myofibrillar disarray will cause dispersion of activation throughout the ventricular myocardium.
METHODS AND RESULTS Of 37 patients with HCM, four had spontaneous ventricular fibrillation (VF), five had nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (VT), 13 had no risk factors, and 15 had a family history of sudden death. These patients and four controls were studied by pacing one site in the right ventricle and recording electrograms from three other right ventricular sites. These electrograms were high-pass filtered to emphasize small deflections due to activation of small bundles of myocytes close to the electrode. Intraventricular conduction curves were obtained with S1S2 coupling intervals decreasing in 1-msec steps from 479 msec to ventricular effective refractory period (VERP). These curves were repeated by pacing each RV site in turn and were characterized by two parameters: the point at which latency increased by 0.75 msec/20 msec reduction of the S1S2 coupling interval and an increase in electrogram duration between an S1S2 of 350 msec and VERP. Patients with VF, VT, and family history of sudden death had a mean increase in electrogram duration of 12.8 (2.9-32.3) msec versus 4.6 (-4.2 to 14.0) msec in low-risk patients and controls. Electrogram latency increased at an S1S2 of 363 msec in the VF group (342-386), 269 msec in the controls (266-279), and 326 msec in the non-VF group (260-399). Discriminant analysis separated VF patients from the remainder (p less than 0.0001) and VF, VT, and family history of sudden death patients from the low-risk and control groups (p less than 10(-6)).
CONCLUSIONS Patients with HCM who are at risk of sudden death have increased dispersion and inhomogeneity of intraventricular conduction, and this may create the conditions for reentry and arrhythmogenesis.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association