Prolongation and shortening of action potentials by electrical shocks in frog ventricular muscle

Academic Article


  • Effects of electrical shocks on myocardium are important for defibrillation. We measured effects of shocks (5 ms, 1-40 V/cm) in isolated frog ventricular strips. We recorded contraction strength and intracellular action potential (AP) with a shock-voltage cancellation technique to allow recordings immediately after shocks. Shocks of ≥5 V/cm produced a dose- and latency-dependent prolongation of the AP ongoing during the shock. Stronger shocks of 28-40 V/cm decreased the duration, maximum diastolic potential, amplitude, and maximum rate of rise of the phase zero depolarization of paced APs that began after the shock. The contraction strength increased 43 and 59% during the 10 s after the stronger shocks. The transmembrane potential was shifted toward 0 mV immediately after the stronger shocks. We concluded that weak or strong shocks prolong the AP ongoing during the shock, whereas sufficiently strong shocks also shorten APs that begin after the shock. AP prolongation and shortening may be important for defibrillation and acceleration of tachycardia after failed cardioversion shocks.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Knisley SB; Smith WM; Ideker RE
  • Volume

  • 266
  • Issue

  • 6 35-6