Evolution of the organization of epicardial activation patterns during ventricular fibrillation

Academic Article


  • Introduction: This study quantified how the organization of epicardial activation changes during the first 40 seconds of ventricular fibrillation (VF). Methods and Results: Unipolar potentials were mapped from a 504 (24 x 21) electrode array (2-mm interelectrode spacing) on the anterior right ventricle (RV) and left ventricle (LV) epicardium. The array covered approximately 20% of the epicardial surface. In each of seven pigs, six episodes of VF were induced by premature stimulation. One-half second epochs of VF were analyzed, starting 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40 seconds post induction and using novel pattern analysis algorithms. Eight parameters were quantified: (1) the number of wavefronts; (2) the epicardial area activated by wavefronts; (3) the fraction of wavefronts arising from epicardial breakthrough or from a focus; (4) the fraction of wavefronts terminated by conduction block; (5) the multiplicity index (number of distinct activation pathways in the rhythm); (6) the repeatability index (number of times activation pathways are traversed); (7) the activation rate; and (8) the wavefront propagation velocity. The results showed that VF patterns were less organized at 10 than at 0 seconds, with more, smaller wavefronts traversing a larger variety of pathways for fewer repetitions. VF activation patterns then gradually reorganized up to 40 seconds, but by a different mechanism: the spatial size of subpatterns grew, but the dynamics otherwise appeared unchanged. During both transitions, both activation rate and propagation velocity slowed monotonically. Conclusion: Thus, changes in organization during VF can occur by multiple mechanisms.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Huang J; Rogers JM; Kenknight BH; Rollins DL; Smith WM; Ideker RE
  • Start Page

  • 1291
  • End Page

  • 1304
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 12