Author + information
- Received June 7, 1983
- Revision received September 20, 1983
- Accepted September 21, 1983
- Published online March 1, 1984.
- Rodney S. Bexton, MB, MA, MRCPa,b,c,
- Anthony W. Nathan, MB, MRCPa,c,
- Kevin J. Hellestrand, MB, FRACPa,
- Richard Cory-Pearce, MB, FRCS*,d,
- Roworth A.J. Spurrell, MD, FRCP, FACCa,
- Terence A.H. English, MB, FRCS* and
- A. John Camm, MD, MRCP, FACCa,e
- ↵bAddress for reprints: Dr. Rodney S. Bexton, Department of Cardiology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN, England.
The function of both the denervated donor and innervated recipient sinus nodes of 14 asymptomatic cardiac transplant recipients was assessed. Tests of sinoatrial function were performed in 14 donor and 10 recipient atria. The mean spontaneous cycle length of the recipient atria was significantly longer than that of the donor atria (944 ± 246 versus 663 ± 158 ms, p < 0.01). Donor sinus node recovery time was prolonged in four patients (> 2,500 ms in two) and recipient recovery time was prolonged in six patients. In those patients with normal sinus node function tests, the recovery time of the recipient sinus node was longer than that of the donor sinus node (1,170 ± 207 versus 864 ± 175 ms, p < 0.02). The pattern of response of recovery times to increasing pacing rate was predictable and organized in the donor but chaotic in the recipient, and the longest sinus node recovery time occurred at the shortest pacing cycle length used in 12 of the 14 donor atria but in only I of the 10 recipient atria (p < 0.001). Secondary pauses occurred in none of the normal donor atria and in all of the abnormal donor atria (p < 0.001); however, they occurred in both normal and abnormal recipient atria.
The recipient and donor atria were paced alone and synchronously in the same patients. Synchronous pacing had no effect on the recovery times of the donor sinus node but significantly lengthened those of the recipient (sinus node recovery time: 1,266 ± 218 to 1,547 ± 332 ms, p < 0.02; corrected recovery time: 322 ± 102 to 686 ± 188 ms, p < 0.01). In the donor atria, abnormal recovery time was invariably associated with abnormal sinoatrial conduction time. There was a strong correlation between sinoatrial conduction time measured by the methods of Strauss and Narula and their coworkers in the donor atria (r = 0.98, p < 0.001) but not in the recipient atria (r = 0.72).
In the absence of autonomic influences, tests of sinus node function of the donor atria produce predictable and consistent results and, therefore, may be more clinically reliable than in intact human subjects. There is a high incidence of recipient sinus node dysfunction in asymptomatic long-term survivors of cardiac transplantation.
- Received June 7, 1983.
- Revision received September 20, 1983.
- Accepted September 21, 1983.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation