Author + information
- Received December 31, 1993
- Revision received August 12, 1994
- Accepted August 22, 1994
- Published online January 1, 1995.
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Dr. David J. Callans, Philadelphia Heart Institute, 39th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.
Objectives. The purpose of this study was to characterize response patterns during overdrive pacing that predict successful termination of ventricular tachycardia.
Background. Overdrive pacing during ventricular tachycardia typically results in entrainment at slow pacing rates and in termination or acceleration at faster rates. The factors that determine the critical paced cycle length that results in tachycardia termination have not been extensively studied.
Methods. Ventricular tachycardias in 14 patients with coronary artery disease were studied with overdrive pacing at several cycle lengths. Return cycles were measured after each additional paced beat at each paced cycle length. The return cycle responses during pacing trials that resulted in tachycardia termination and those that resulted in entrainment were compared.
Results. Three return cycle responses were identified: flat, plateau and increasing. Twenty trials of overdrive pacing resulted in tachycardia termination; all were characterized by an increase in the return cycle with the delivery of each successive beat in the pacing drive until the tachycardia terminated (increasing response). Thirty-four pacing trials resulted in entrainment and not termination; these were characterized either by a constant return cycle (flat response) or an initial increase in return cycle followed by a longer, constant return cycle (plateau response) with the delivery of additional paced beats. The longest paced cycle length that resulted in tachycardia termination correlated with the relative refractory period of the circuit, defined as the tachycardia cycle length minus the fully excitable gap (r2= 0.764, p = 0.0001). Tachycardia termination was not observed unless the paced cycle length was shorter than the relative refractory period of the circuit.
Conclusions. The critical paced cycle length that causes termination of ventricular tachycardia depends on the relative refractory period of the circuit because this factor determines whether the nth + 1 beat of the pacing drive will encounter partially recovered tissue. These data provide insights into the mechanism of pacing-mediated tachycardia termination and entrainment and are applicable to the development of improved antitachycardia pacing algorithms.
- Received December 31, 1993.
- Revision received August 12, 1994.
- Accepted August 22, 1994.