Modulation of procainamide's effect on cardiac conduction in dogs by extracellular potassium concentration. A quantitative analysis.
BACKGROUND Antiarrhythmic drugs are known to have state-dependent interactions with cardiac sodium channels, and these have potentially important implications for drug effects on cardiac conduction, particularly in situations of changed resting potential and heart rate. Recent advances in theoretical approaches permit beat-to-beat changes in sodium channel block to be inferred from conduction changes in vivo and allow for an analysis of state-dependent drug action from conduction changes occurring on the onset of pacing at different rates. The purpose of the present study was to use this method to analyze the interaction between hyperkalemia and procainamide's sodium channel-blocking action in terms of resulting changes in left ventricular conduction.
METHODS AND RESULTS Epicardial mapping with a 56-electrode array was used to assess ventricular conduction in open chest, anesthetized mongrel dogs with Formalin-induced atrioventricular block. Procainamide was infused as a series of loading and maintenance infusions until at least 20% conduction slowing was obtained at the shortest basic cycle length (300 milliseconds). Results in a control set of normokalemic dogs were compared with results in dogs with moderate hyperkalemia produced by a loading and maintenance infusion of potassium chloride. Plasma procainamide concentration was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography, and the constancy of serum potassium concentration was verified with ion-sensitive electrode measurement. Although hyperkalemia itself (mean +/- SEM potassium concentration, 6.64 +/- 0.66 mmol/L) did not alter conduction, it resulted in substantially increased conduction slowing by procainamide despite substantially lower plasma drug concentrations (102 +/- 10 mumol/L) compared with normokalemic dogs (potassium concentration, 3.87 +/- 0.24 mmol/L; procainamide concentration, 277 +/- 16 mumol/L). The onset of conduction slowing and block followed basic molecular theory, with an exponential time constant that was faster at longer cycle lengths and total block that increased as cycle length decreased. Piecewise exponential analysis of block during the rested and depolarized phases of the action potential showed that the enhancement of procainamide's action by hyperkalemia was due almost exclusively to increased rested-phase block. Hyperkalemia produced a bradycardia-dependent and slight reduction in action potential duration and antagonized the action potential-prolonging effect of procainamide, particularly at shorter cycle lengths.
CONCLUSIONS Hyperkalemia strongly enhances procainamide-induced conduction slowing by increasing the interaction between the drug and sodium channels during the rested phase of the cardiac cycle. These results indicate the applicability of basic molecular theories of antiarrhythmic drug action to understanding drug-induced changes in conduction velocity in vivo and highlight the potential importance of heterogeneous magnification of sodium channel-blocking drug action by the spatially variable hyperkalemia that occurs with acute myocardial ischemia. The latter could play an important role in the known proarrhythmic potential of sodium channel-blocking drugs in patients with coronary artery disease.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association