Regional capture of fibrillating ventricular myocardium: Evidence of an excitable gap

Academic Article


  • Previous investigations have suggested that during ventricular fibrillation (VF) pacing stimuli are incapable of evoking propagated ventricular activations. To determine whether regional myocardial capture could be achieved during rapid pacing in VF, extracellular unipolar potentials were sampled (2 kHz) and recorded from 506 Ag-AgCl electrodes arranged in a rectangular grid (22x23, 1.12-mm spacing) embedded in a plaque overlying two pacing electrodes in the epicardium of the anterobasal right ventricle in pentobarbital-anesthetized pigs (25 to 30 kg, n=6). During separate episodes of electrically induced VF, two bursts of 40 monophasic stimuli (10 mA, 2-millisecond duration) were asynchronously applied to the stimulating electrodes in either a bipolar, unipolar anodal, or unipolar cathodal mode. Evidence of regional capture was provided by (1) animating the first temporal derivative of the extracellular potentials, (2) analyzing interbeat interval patterns, and (3) employing the Karhunen-Loeve decomposition method to quantify the repetitiveness of spatiotemporal patterns of activation. Regional capture of ventricular myocardium during VF was observed when pacing stimuli fell late in the local myocardial activation interval and when the pacing cycle length was 80% to 115% of the mean subplaque activation cycle length. When myocardial activations became phase locked to the pacing stimuli, repeatable spatiotemporal patterns of activation followed each stimulus. Poincare sections at the plaque border revealed that during VF prior to pacing, interbeat intervals were irregular but were driven by pacing to stable fixed values at times corresponding to our qualitative declaration of regional capture. A similar correspondence was demonstrated between the time of capture, defined by direct observation of the activation patterns, and a rise in the power contained in the first two spatial modes of a Karhunen-Loeve decomposition. These data demonstrate that appropriately timed stimuli produce regional capture of fibrillating right ventricular myocardium in the pig and support the existence of an excitable gap during VF in this model.
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    Author List

  • KenKnight BH; Bayly PV; Gerstle RJ; Rollins DL; Wolf PD; Smith WM; Ideker RE
  • Start Page

  • 849
  • End Page

  • 855
  • Volume

  • 77
  • Issue

  • 4