Characterization of double potentials during ventricular tachycardia. Studies during transient entrainment.
BACKGROUND Double potentials have been recorded during reentrant tachycardias in animal models. Although they have also been recorded during ventricular tachycardia in humans, their meaning is uncertain.
METHODS AND RESULTS We used transient entrainment as a method to help further understand the meaning of double potentials recorded during ventricular tachycardia in humans. Three patients with ventricular tachycardia (cycle lengths, 500, 450, and 290 msec) were studied. During transient entrainment of ventricular tachycardia (pacing cycle length, 470-260 msec), both double potential deflections were captured at the pacing cycle length. One deflection was captured with a short activation time, and the other deflection was captured with a long activation time. During ventricular pacing, the deflections were associated by the long rather than the short interdeflection interval. At termination of pacing, each double potential deflection was associated with separate but sequential QRS complexes, and each deflection maintained the same electrogram morphology at relatively "slow" overdrive pacing rates. The short interdeflection interval shortened further with faster pacing rates (to less than the ventricular refractory period), making it unlikely that both deflections of the double potential represent active depolarization of the same tissue. In two patients, at a critically rapid pacing rate, one of the double potential deflections changed morphology abruptly, associated with a shortened stimulus-to-double potential time interval (from 520 to 110 msec and from 530 to 240 msec, respectively), indicating a change in the direction of activation that caused that deflection. Interruption of ventricular tachycardia was associated with disappearance of the double potentials at the same recording site. The double potentials did not immediately bracket an area of slow conduction.
CONCLUSIONS These data suggest that double potentials recorded only during ventricular tachycardia represent activation wave fronts on either side of an area of block within a reentrant circuit. Thus, double potentials recorded during ventricular tachycardia in these patients do not appear to represent slow conduction per se but rather appear to represent an area of block at the center of a reentrant circuit around which the reentrant wave front circulates.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association