Effect of hypercapnic acidemia on anisotropic propagation in the canine ventricle.
BACKGROUND Impulse propagation in the ventricle depends on both sodium channel availability and cell-to-cell coupling through gap junctions. Sodium channel block has been shown to depress conduction velocity (theta) more longitudinal (LONG) to than transverse (TRANS) to fiber orientation. Because exposure to CO2 produces intracellular acidosis and decreased gap junction conductance in vitro, we tested the hypothesis that increased PCO2 would result in preferential depression of transverse conduction in vivo.
METHODS AND RESULTS In anesthetized dogs, when atrial pH was reduced to 6.70 +/- 0.04 by increasing the fraction of inhaled CO2 to 40%, theta TRANS fell from 0.23 +/- 0.04 to 0.19 +/- 0.02 m/s (-16 +/- 8%, P < .03), while theta LONG was unchanged (-3 +/- 7%, P = NS). In contrast, with the same degree of acidemia produced by HCl infusion, only theta LONG fell (-8 +/- 7%), coincident with a rise in serum K+.
CONCLUSIONS The observed effect of CO2 on propagation in the intact heart is consistent with its previously described in vitro actions to uncouple cell-to-cell communication and may provide a model to study the role of cell-to-cell coupling in normal and abnormal propagation.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association