Catecholamine-Dependent Cardiac Arrhythmias: Mechanisms and Implications

  • S. G. Priori
  • P. J. Schwartz
Conference paper


Although the arrhythmogenic role of sympathetic activation acting over an ischemic substrate has been established [1, 2], the mechanisms involved remain largely speculative. In fact, due to their electrophysiologic properties, catecholamines influence several determinants of cardiac excitability thus creating a rather complex picture which is difficult to unravel. This complexity is largely due to the fact that adrenergic activation, besides acting on the electrophysiologic characteristics of the heart, affects most cardiac functions such as contractility, metabolism, and coronary circulation. Furthermore, depending on the substrate on which catecholamines are released, i.e., whether the heart is normally perfused or acutely ischemic or has suffered a myocardial infarction, the consequences of adrenergic activation can vary.


Purkinje Fiber Trigger Activity Cardiac Sympathetic Nerve Adrenergic Activation Coupling Interval 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. G. Priori
  • P. J. Schwartz

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