Postextrasystolic potentiation. Do we really know what it means and how to use it?
Postextrasystolic potentiation (PESP), the increase in contractility that follows an extrasystole, is an interesting phenomenon that has been known for almost 100 years. The literature on this effect is reviewed. It is found that there is significant evidence that the phenomenon is independent of muscle loading and represents a distinct property of the myocardium. Examination of the literature pertaining to the cause of the effect suggests that calcium shifts within the sarcoplasmic reticulum are responsible, although there are some conflicts with this conclusion. Regarding the utility of PESP as a diagnostic test of latent viability of ischemic myocardium, the literature review reveals contradictions and conflicts with several methodological problems of the experiments. Finally, concerning the utility of continuous PESP (paired-pacing) to augment ventricular function in the failing ventricle, the studies again are inconclusive and methodologically suspect. Conditions for the proper analysis of the PESP response are reported, and suggestions for future studies are introduced.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association