Stimulus-induced critical point. Mechanism for electrical initiation of reentry in normal canine myocardium

Academic Article


  • The hypothesis was tested that the field of a premature (S2) stimulus, interacting with relatively refractory tissue, can create unidirectional block and reentry in the absence of non-uniform dispersion of recovery. Simultaneous recordings from a small region of normal right ventricular (RV) myocardium were made from 117 to 120 transmural or epicardial electrodes in 14 dogs. S1 pacing from a row of electrodes on one side of the mapped area generated parallel activation isochrones followed by uniform parallel isorecovery lines. Cathodal S2 shocks of 25 to 250 V lasting 3 ms were delivered from a mesh electrode along one side of the mapped area to scan the recovery period, creating isogradient electric field lines perpendicular to the isorecovery lines. Circus reentry was created following S2 stimulation; initial conduction was distant from the S2 site and spread towards more refractory tissue. Reentry was clockwise for right S1 (near the septum) with top S2 (near the pulmonary valve) and for left S1 with bottom S2; and counter-clockwise for right S1 with bottom S2 and left S1 with top S2. The center of the reentrant circuit for all S2 voltages and coupling intervals occurred at potential gradients of 5.1 ± 0.6 V/cm (mean ± standard deviation) and at preshock intervals 1 ± 3 ms longer than refractory periods determined locally for a 2 mA stimulus. Thus, when S2 field strengths and tissue refractoriness are uniformally dispersed at an angle to each other, circus reentry occurs around a 'critical point' where an S2 field of ~ 5 V/cm intersects tissue approximately at the end of its refractory period.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Frazier DW; Wolf PD; Wharton JM; Tang ASL; Smith WM; Ideker RE
  • Start Page

  • 1039
  • End Page

  • 1052
  • Volume

  • 83
  • Issue

  • 3