Characteristics of entrainment during autodecremental atrial and ventricular stimulation

Agustin Castellanos, Liaqat Zaman, Pedro Fernandez, Bolivar Portillo, Barouh V. Berkovits, Robert J. Myerburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The entrainment characteristics of orthodromic circus movement tachycardias occurring during autodecremental atrial and ventricular stimulation were studied in 9 patients with manifest Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The phenomenon occurred in 34 of 38 episodes of tachycardia during autodecremental atrial stimulation. It was not seen in 4 episodes because the first impulse penetrating the circuit terminated the arrhythmia. Invariably, the HH and VV intervals were not equal to, but longer than, the stimulus-stimulus intervals, thus not fulfilling the definition of "classic" (constant cycle length) entrainment postulated by Okumura et al. Furthermore, the first 2 of the 3 diagnostic criteria were not demonstrated and the third only could be demonstrated in 7 episodes. Tachycardia termination was achieved in all 38 episodes. Entrainment occurred during autodecremental ventricular stimulation in 79 of 80 episodes, with the AA and H-H- intervals (when visible) being equal to the corresponding paced cycle lengths. Moreover, the intervals between the last paced ventricular beat and the first ventricular beat of the resumed tachycardia were invariably longer than the last stimulus-stimulus intervals. These characteristics were those which Okumura et al attributed to "concealed" entrainment. Tachycardia termination was achieved in 77 of 80 episodes. In summary: (1) autodecremental atrial pacing produced a specific form of entrainment that did not fulfill the "classic" definition of Okumura et al; (2) autodecremental ventricular pacing consistently produced "concealed" entrainment; and (3) autodecremental stimulation was very effective in terminating 115 of 118 (98%) of episodes of circus movement tachycardias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-786
Number of pages6
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Apr 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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