Author + information
- Received September 13, 1991
- Revision received January 10, 1992
- Accepted January 19, 1992
- Published online August 1, 1992.
- Gregory K. Feld, MD, FACC∗ and
- Farhad Shahandeh-Rad, PharmD
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Gregory K. Feld, MD, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, 225 Dickinson Street, San Diego, California 92103.
Objectives. This study was designed to localize and characterize the atrial flutter reentrant circuit and the electrophysiologic effects of right atrial crush injury in a new canine model.
Background. In previous studies sustained atrial flutter was induced in the canine heart by rapid atrial pacing after a linear crush injury was placed in the right atrial free wall.
Methods. Eight dogs (group 1) with three electrode plaques on the right and left atria and Bachmann's bundle and seven dogs (group 2) with a single high density electrode plaque on the right atrium were studied with use of a 64-channel computerized mapping system.
Results. At baseline, during sinus rhythm and right and left atrial pacing, activation spread uniformly without areas of slow conduction. Crush injury produced marked conduction delay or complete block during sinus rhythm, increasing the mean difference in activation times across the injury compared with control values (group 1, 31 ± 4 vs. 14 ± 5 ms, p < 0.01; group 2, 28 ± 10 vs. 7 ± 2 ms, p < 0.01). Rapid atrial pacing (S1S1200 ms) above and below the crush injury revealed a line of complete block across which adjacent electrodes recorded markedly different activation times (33 ± 5 and 38 ± 12 ms difference, respectively) and around which activation wave fronts proceeded, colliding opposite the stimulating electrodes, The mean atrial flutter cycle length of 11 episodes induced in group 1 and 14 episodes in group 2 was 157 ± 16 and 140 ± 16 ms, respectively (p = NS). Activation mapping revealed a reentrant circuit in the right atrium around the crush injury in all episodes. Although the reentrant circuit did not contain a discrete area of slow conduction, activation time below was longer than that above the crush injury (92 ± 14 vs. 66 ± 8 ms and 82 ± 12 vs. 59 ± 9 ms in groups 1 and 2, respectively, p < 0.01 for both). Rapid atrial pacing or premature stimuli produced progressive conduction delay and unidirectional block between the crush injury and the tricuspid anulus, inducing atrial flutter directly in 9 of 25 episodes. In 16 episodes, atrial flutter developed after transient induction of atrial fibrilation.
Conclusions. 1) Atrial flutter in this model is due to reeentry in the right atrium; 2) the crush injury functions as an anatomic obstacle around which reentry may occur; and 3) the reentrant circuit does not contain a discrete area of slow conduction but, rather, generally slower conduction below the crush injury.
☆ This study was supported in part by a grant from the Academic Senate of the University of California, San Diego, California.
- Received September 13, 1991.
- Revision received January 10, 1992.
- Accepted January 19, 1992.