Effect of electrotonic potentials on pacemaker activity of canine Purkinje fibers in relation to parasystole. (1/4675)

Isolated false tendons excised form dog hearts were mounted in a three-chamber tissue bath. Isotonic sucrose solution was perfused in the central chamber to provide a region of depressed conductivity between the fiber segments in chambers 1 and 3, which were perfused with Tyrode's solution. The electrotonic influence of spontaneous or driven responses evoked in chamber 3 during the first half of the spontaneous cycle of a chamber 1 peacemaker delayed the next spontaneous discharge. This effect changed to acceleration when the chamber 3 segment fired during the second half of the spontaneous cycle. We found that subthreshold depolarizing current pulses 50-300 msec applied across the sucrose gap caused similar degrees of delay or acceleration. Furthermore, hyperpolarizing currents caused the reverse pattern. The results indicate that the discharge pattern of a parasystolic focus may be altered by the electrotonic influence of activity in the surrounding tissue. The significance of these findings is considered in relation to the mechanism of production of parasystolic rhythms.  (+info)

Evaluation of the force-frequency relationship as a descriptor of the inotropic state of canine left ventricular myocardium. (2/4675)

The short-term force-frequency characteristics of canine left ventricular myocardium were examined in both isolated and intact preparations by briefly pertubing the frequency of contraction with early extrasystoles. The maximum rate of rise of isometric tension (Fmas) of the isolated trabeculae carneae was potentiated by the introduction of extrasystoles. The ratio of Fmas of potentiated to control beats (force-frequency ratio) was not altered significantly by a change in muscle length. However, exposure of the trabeculae to isoproterenol (10(-7)M) significantly changed the force-frequency ratio obtained in response to a constant frequency perturbation. Similar experiments were performed on chronically instrumented conscious dogs. Left ventricular minor axis diameter was measured with implanted pulse-transit ultrasonic dimension transducers, and intracavitary pressure was measured with a high fidelity micromanometer. Atrial pacing was performed so that the end-diastolic diameters of the beats preceding and following the extrasystole could be made identical. Large increases in the maximum rate of rise of pressure (Pmas) were seen in the contraction after the extrasystole. The ratio of Pmax of the potentiated beat to that of the control beat was not changed by a 9% increase in the end-diastolic diameter, produced by saline infusion. Conversely, isoproterenol significantly altered this relationship in the same manner as in the isolated muscle. Thus, either in vitro or in situ, left ventricular myocardium exhibits large functional changes in response to brief perturbations in rate. The isoproterenol and length data indicate that the force-frequency ratio reflects frequency-dependent changes in the inotropic state, independent of changes in length.  (+info)

Arterial blood gas tensions during upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. (3/4675)

Arterial blood gas tensions were measured before and during upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, with (group I) and without (group 2) sedation with intravenous diazepam. There was a highly significant fall in the PaO2, which occurred in both groups and was therefore not attributable to diazepam. Measurement of FEV, and FVC before endoscopy had no predictive value for those patients whose PaO2 fell the most.  (+info)

Bradykinin promotes ischemic norepinephrine release in guinea pig and human hearts. (4/4675)

We previously reported that bradykinin (BK; 1-1000 nM) facilitates norepinephrine (NE) release from cardiac sympathetic nerves. Because BK production increases in myocardial ischemia, endogenous BK could foster NE release and associated arrhythmias. We tested this hypothesis in guinea pig and human myocardial ischemia models. BK administration (100 nM) markedly enhanced exocytotic and carrier-mediated NE overflow from guinea pig hearts subjected to 10- and 20-min ischemia/reperfusion, respectively. Ventricular fibrillation invariably occurred after 20-min global ischemia; BK prolonged its duration 3-fold. The BK B2 receptor antagonist HOE140 (30 nM) blocked the effects of BK, whereas the B1 receptor antagonist des-Arg9-Leu8-BK (1 microM; i.e., 2.5 x pA2) did not. When serine proteinase inhibitors (500 KIU/ml aprotinin and 100 microg/ml soybean trypsin inhibitor) were used to prevent the formation of endogenous BK, NE overflow and reperfusion arrhythmias were diminished. In contrast, when kininase I and II inhibitors (DL-2-mercaptomethyl-3-guanidinoethylthiopropanoic acid and enalaprilat, each 1 microM) were used to prevent the degradation of endogenous BK, NE overflow and reperfusion arrhythmias were enhanced. B2 receptor blockade abolished these effects but was ineffective if kininases were not inhibited. B2 receptor stimulation, by either exogenous or endogenous BK, also markedly enhanced carrier-mediated NE release in the human myocardial ischemia model; conversely, inhibition of BK biosynthesis diminished ischemic NE release. Because atherosclerotic heart disease impairs endothelial BK production, in myocardial ischemia BK could accumulate at sympathetic nerve endings, thus augmenting exocytotic and carrier-mediated NE release and favoring coronary vasoconstriction and arrhythmias.  (+info)

Heart hypertrophy induced by levothyroxine aggravates ischemic lesions and reperfusion arrhythmias in rats. (5/4675)

AIM: To develop a cardiac hypertrophic model in rats. METHODS: Rats were i.p. levothyroxine 0.5 mg.kg-1.d-1 x 10 d. The action potentials of right papillary muscles were recorded by standard glass-microelectrode technique. The left coronary artery was ligated followed by reperfusion and the apparent infarcted zone (AIZ) was determined by tetracycline fluoresence, and the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) product in myocardium were also measured. RESULTS: In the rats treated by levothyroxine, the heart was hypertrophic and the action potential duration (APD) and effective refractory period (ERP) were prolonged, the APD20, APD50, APD90, and ERP were prolonged by 80%, 79%, 74%, and 68%, respectively. No changes in resting potential (RP), action potential amplitude (APA), and Vmax were produced. The incidence of heart arrest (8/8) and the risk of death (67 +/- 0) induced by ischemia-reperfusion in rats with hypertrophic heart was higher than those in normal rats (4/10 and 44 +/- 19, respectively). The AIZ was expanded markedly in hypertrophic heart, and attenuated by lidocaine and propranolol. CONCLUSION: Levothyroxine-induced heart hypertrophy is a suitable model for severe ischemia and arrhythmias in rats.  (+info)

Cardioprotection by opening of the K(ATP) channel in unstable angina. Is this a clinical manifestation of myocardial preconditioning? Results of a randomized study with nicorandil. CESAR 2 investigation. Clinical European studies in angina and revascularization. (6/4675)

AIMS: To assess the anti-ischaemic and anti-arrhythmic effects and overall safety of nicorandil, an ATP sensitive potassium (K+) channel opener, with 'cardioprotective' effects, in patients with unstable angina. METHODS: In a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study, oral nicorandil 20 mg twice daily or a matching placebo was administered for a minimum of 48 h to patients admitted with unstable angina. Treatment was standardized to include, where tolerated, oral aspirin, a beta-blocker and diltiazem. Continuous Holter ECG monitoring was performed for 48 h to assess the frequency and duration of transient myocardial ischaemia and any tachyarrhythmia, as the predefined end-points of the study. A pain chart recorded the incidence and severity of chest pain throughout the study period. Patients with myocardial infarction identified retrospectively from troponin-T analysis were excluded. RESULTS: Two hundred and forty-five patients were recruited into the study. Forty-three patients were excluded with an index diagnosis of myocardial infarction, two were not randomized and 12 had unsatisfactory tape data. In the remaining 188 patients, six out of 89 patients (6.7%) on nicorandil experienced an arrhythmia, compared with 17 out of 99 patients (17.2%) on placebo (P=0.04). Three nicorandil patients experienced three runs of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia compared to 31 runs in 10 patients on placebo (P=0.087 patients; P<0.0001 runs). Three nicorandil patients had four runs of supraventricular tachycardia, compared to 15 runs in nine patients on placebo (P=0.14 patients; P=0.017 runs). Eleven (12.4%) patients on nicorandil had 37 episodes of transient myocardial ischaemia (mostly silent) compared with 74 episodes in 21 (21.2%) patients on placebo (P=0.12 patients; P=0.0028 episodes). In the overall safety analysis, which included all patients who received at least one dose of study medication, there were no significant differences in the rates of myocardial infarction or death between the nicorandil or placebo-treated groups. CONCLUSIONS: Nicorandil, added to aggressive anti-anginal treatment for unstable angina, reduces transient myocardial ischaemia, non-sustained ventricular, and supraventricular arrhythmia compared to placebo. The anti-arrhythmic activity with nicorandil is probably a secondary effect resulting from its anti-ischaemic action and we suggest that this may be related to its effect on the ATP sensitive potassium channel causing pharmacological preconditioning.  (+info)

Superiority of ibutilide (a new class III agent) over DL-sotalol in converting atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation. The Ibutilide/Sotalol Comparator Study Group. (7/4675)

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and safety of a single dose of ibutilide, a new class III antiarrhythmic drug, with that of DL-sotalol in terminating chronic atrial fibrillation or flutter in haemodynamically stable patients. DESIGN: Double blind, randomised study. SETTING: 43 European hospitals. PATIENTS: 308 patients (mean age 60 years, 70% men, 48% with heart disease) with sustained atrial fibrillation (n = 251) or atrial flutter (n = 57) (duration three hours to 45 days) were randomised to three groups to receive a 10 minute infusion of 1 mg ibutilide (n = 99), 2 mg ibutilide (n = 106), or 1.5 mg/kg DL-sotalol (n = 103). Infusion was discontinued at termination of the arrhythmia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Successful conversion of atrial fibrillation or flutter, defined as termination of arrhythmia within one hour of treatment. RESULTS: Both drugs were more effective against atrial flutter than against atrial fibrillation. Ibutilide was superior to DL-sotalol for treating atrial flutter (70% and 56% v 19%), while the high dose of ibutilide was more effective for treating atrial fibrillation than DL-sotalol (44% v 11%) and the lower dose of ibutilide (44% v 20%, p < 0.01). The mean (SD) time to arrhythmia termination was 13 (7) minutes with 2 mg ibutilide, 19 (15) minutes with 1 mg ibutilide, and 25 (17) minutes with DL-sotalol. In all patients, the duration of arrhythmia before treatment was a predictor of arrhythmia termination, although this was less obvious in the group that received 2 mg ibutilide. This dose converted almost 48% of atrial fibrillation that was present for more than 30 days. Concomitant use of digitalis or nifedipine and prolongation of the QTc interval were not predictive of arrhythmia termination. Bradycardia (6.5%) and hypotension (3.7%) were more common side effects with DL-sotalol. Of 211 patients given ibutilide, two (0.9%) who received the higher dose developed polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, one of whom required direct current cardioversion. CONCLUSION: Ibutilide (given in 1 or 2 mg doses over 10 minutes) is highly effective for rapidly terminating persistent atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. This new class III drug, under monitored conditions, is a potential alternative to currently available cardioversion options.  (+info)

Overexpression of a human potassium channel suppresses cardiac hyperexcitability in rabbit ventricular myocytes. (8/4675)

The high incidence of sudden death in heart failure may reflect abnormalities of repolarization and heightened susceptibility to arrhythmogenic early afterdepolarizations (EADs). We hypothesized that overexpression of the human K+ channel HERG (human ether-a-go-go-related gene) could enhance repolarization and suppress EADs. Adult rabbit ventricular myocytes were maintained in primary culture, which suffices to prolong action potentials and predisposes to EADs. To achieve efficient gene transfer, we created AdHERG, a recombinant adenovirus containing the HERG gene driven by a Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) promoter. The virally expressed HERG current exhibited pharmacologic and kinetic properties like those of native IKr. Transient outward currents in AdHERG-infected myocytes were similar in magnitude to those in control cells, while stimulated action potentials (0.2 Hz, 37 degrees C) were abbreviated compared with controls. The occurrence of EADs during a train of action potentials was reduced by more than fourfold, and the relative refractory period was increased in AdHERG-infected myocytes compared with control cells. Gene transfer of delayed rectifier potassium channels represents a novel and effective strategy to suppress arrhythmias caused by unstable repolarization.  (+info)