Electrophysiological effects of procainamide in acute and healed experimental ischemic injury of cat myocardium

R. J. Myerburg, A. L. Bassett, K. Epstein, M. S. Gaide, P. Kozlovskis, S. S. Wong, A. Castellanos, H. Gelband

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The authors studied the effects of a membrane-active antiarrhythmic agent, procainamide (PA), on cellular electrophysiological consequences of ischemic injury to cat ventricular muscle. The left ventricles of 90- to 120-minute acute myocardial infarctions (AMI) (n = 14), and 2- to 4-month healed myocardial infarctions (HMI) (n = 17), were studied by microelectrode techniques in isolated tissue bath. Control action potential duration at 90% repolarization (APD90) recorded from ventricular muscle cells in AMI areas were short (114 ± 4 msec) compared to recordings from cells in normal areas (136 ± 6 msec) (P <0.001). In contrast, APD90 of cells surviving ischemia in HMI preparations were longer than normals (159 ± 5 vs. 140 ± 5 msec, P <0.001). After 60 minutes of exposure to PA, the APD90 of all cells was prolonged, but the absolute and relative magnitudes of prolongation were greater in AMI cells (mean = +40 msec, +35%), than in HMI cells (mean = +19 msec, +13%), P <0.001. The prolongation of APD90 of normal cells was intermediate. Local refractory period changes paralleled APD90 changes. In seven additional HMI preparations, sustained ventricular activity was induced by premature stimulation. APD90 of HMI cells prolonged less than APD90 of normal cells during exposure to PA in these preparations, and decreased difference of APD90 between normal and HMI cells was associated with loss of inducibility of sustained ventricular activity. The effect of tetrodotoxin (TTX) was compared to the effect of PA in four HMI preparations to determine whether impaired delivery of test substances caused nearly only an apparent decreased responsiveness to PA in HMI zones. TTX caused nearly identical prolongations of conduction times in HMI zones and normal zones, whereas PA caused different effects on APD90 in the two zones. In conclusion, PA alters the time course of repolarization of AMI cells more than that of HMI cells, decreasing the dispersion of repolarization in a given AMI or HMI preparation. The decreased dispersion correlated with loss of ability to induce sustained ventricular activity. Finally, the decreased responsiveness of HMI cells to PA does not appear to be due to impaired delivery to cell membranes, but, rather, appears to be a membrane difference persisting in cells which have survived ischemic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-393
Number of pages8
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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