Anisotropic conduction characteristics in ischemia-reperfusion induced chronic myocardial infarction
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Objectives: Anisotropic properties of cardiac tissue play an important role in initiation and perpetuation of ventricular tachycardia. However, anisotropic conduction properties in different morphologic types of chronic myocardial infarctions as well as frequency dependency still need to be elucidated. In the present study, the characteristics of anisotropic conduction were investigated in situ in the setting of ischemia-reperfusion induced chronic myocardial infarction.
Methods: Myocardial infarction was induced in 12 dogs by a percutaneous transcatheter left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion-reperfusion technique. Four additional dogs served as normal controls. After 14 to 20 days, epicardial mapping was performed using simultaneous unipolar recordings from 240 electrodes of a plaque electrode array placed on the epicardial border zone overlying the infarctions. Constant rate pacing with five cycle lengths (CL) ranging from 500 to 200 ms as well as programmed electrical stimulation (PES) with four basic cycle lengths (BCL) ranging from 430 to 300 ms and single extrastimuli (S2) were performed.
Results: Two anatomically different patterns of epicardial surface morphology were analyzed, designated as type I and type II. In seven animals, there was a continuous thin layer of surviving epicardial muscle fibers overlying the infarction (type I). During pacing with CL of 500 vs 200 ms, conduction velocity longitudinal to fiber orientation (θL) decreased significantly in the infarcted animals compared to control group (10.9% vs 5.2%,p<0.05) whereas conduction velocity transverse to fiber axis (θT) decreased to a similar degree in control and infarcted animals (6.9 vs 7.4%, n.s.). After premature stimulation, there was considerably greater reduction in θL in infarcted animals than in controls (39.8% vs 31.5%,p<0.05) whereas θT decreased to a similar extend in infarcted and control animals (22.2% vs 21.4%, n.s.). During constant rate pacing and premature stimulation, no functional conduction block was induced in type I infarctions. In five animals, the transmural infarctions clearly extended to the epicardial surface, but continuous strands of surviving epicardial muscle fibers traversed the area of necrosis (type II). During PES with S2, functional conduction block and areas of very slow conduction were observed in each case.
Conclusions: In ischemia-reperfusion induced chronic myocardial infarctions, different epicardial patterns of morphology were observed. Anisotropic conduction was frequency dependent in the longitudinal but not in the transverse direction. In type I infarctions, functional conduction block was not inducible during PES whereas in type II infarctions, prerequisites for reentrant arrhythmias like functional conduction block and very slow conduction were induced in each case by single extrastimuli.
Key wordsChronic myocardial infarction epicardial mapping anisotropic conduction frequency dependency
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