Congestive heart failure (CHF) predisposes to ventricular fibrillation (VF) in association with electrical remodeling of the ventricle. However, much remains unknown about the rate-dependent electrophysiological properties in a failing heart. Action potential properties in the left ventricular subepicardial muscles during dynamic pacing were examined with optical mapping in pacing-induced CHF (n = 18) and control (n = 17) rabbit hearts perfused in vitro. Action potential durations (APDs) in CHF were significantly longer than those observed for controls at basic cycle lengths (BCLs) >1,000 ms but significantly shorter at BCLs <400 ms. Spatial APD dispersions were significantly increased in CHF versus control (by 17-81%), and conduction velocity was significantly decreased in CHF (by 6-20%). In both groups, high-frequency stimulation (BCLs <150 ms) always caused spatial APD alternans; spatially concordant alternans and spatially discordant alternans (SDA) were induced at 60% and 40% in control, respectively, whereas 18% and 82% in CHF. SDA in CHF caused wavebreaks followed by reentrant excitations, giving rise to VF. Incidence of ventricular tachycardia/VFs elicited by high-frequency dynamic pacing (BCLs <150 ms) was significantly higher in CHF versus control (93% vs. 20%). In CHF, left ventricular subepicardial muscles show significant APD shortenings at short BCLs favoring reentry formations following wavebreaks in association with SDA. High-frequency excitation itself may increase the vulnerability to VF in CHF.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 02-2011|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)