Estimated global epicardial distribution of activation rate and conduction block during porcine ventricular fibrillation

Academic Article


  • Block and Frequency Distribution During VF. Introduction: A proposed mechanism of the maintenance of ventricular fibrillation (VF) determined by studying small hearts or segments of large hearts is that a single stable rotor exists at the site of maximal activation rate, which gives rise to activation fronts that propagate into slower activating regions where they frequently block. We wished to determine if two predictions of this hypothesized mechanism are true during VF in large hearts: (1) there is a single maximum in the distribution of activation rates with the activation rate decreasing with distance away from this maximum; and (2) the incidence of block is greater outside than inside the fastest activating region. Methods and Results: Six 25-second episodes of VF from each of six pigs were recorded from 504 electrodes over the entire ventricular epicardium. The electrodes were divided into four zones: left ventricular base and apex (LVB and LVA) and right ventricular base and apex (RVB and RVA). A fast Fourier transform was performed on each electrogram, and the mean activation rate was estimated from the dominant (peak) frequency (DF) and block was estimated to be present during those time intervals when double peaks (DPs) were present in the power spectrum. The zones had statistically significant distributions of DF (LVB>LVA>RVA>RVB) and DP incidence (RVA>RVB>LVA>LVB). Conclusion: During VF, the LV base has the highest estimated activation rate and the lowest estimated block incidence, and the RV has the slowest rate but the highest block incidence. This is consistent with the concept of VF being maintained by activation fronts originating from the LV base.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Newton JC; Johnson PL; Justice RK; Smith WM; Ideker RE
  • Start Page

  • 1035
  • End Page

  • 1041
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 10