Background: It is recognized that a ventricular vulnerability period exists during which atrial shock delivery may induce a ventricular tachyarrhythmia. This study was designed to define the zone in which the ventricles are vulnerable to induction of ventricular tachyarrhythmia during delivery of atrial shocks in the sterile pericarditis canine model of atrial fibrillation. Methods and Results: Two days after creation of sterile pericarditis, 24 dogs underwent either a four-part or five-part ventricular vulnerability protocol during which atrial shocks were delivered between transvenous catheters, one in the distal coronary sinus and one in the right atrial appendage. The protocol included part 1, shocks during induced atrial fibrillation; parts 2 through 4, shocks delivered synchronously with the last ventricular beat of one of the following three ventricular pacing protocols: constant ventricular rates (S1S1), short-long-short cycles (S1S2S3-V), and ventricular premature bears (S1); and part 5, shocks delivered synchronously with the last R wave resulting from an atrially paced short- long-short cycle (S1S2S3A). Ventricular tachyarrhythmia was induced 122 times: 2 of 665 shocks in two dogs in part 1, 29 of 786 shocks in nine dogs in part 2, 67 of 734 shocks in 15 dogs in part 3, 24 of 919 shocks in five dogs in part 4, and none in part 5. All ventricular proarrhythmia resulted from shocks delivered during the T wave of a preceding ventricular beat. No episodes of ventricular tachyarrhythmia were induced by atrial shocks synchronized to R waves with the previous RR at intervals above the QT+60 ms interval (absolute interval >320 ms), with one exception, at the QT+ 100 ms interval (absolute interval 360 ms). Conclusions: With transvenous electrode catheters used to deliver atrial shocks, life-threatening ventricular rhythms were induced but were limited to a specific zone defined by the QT interval.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine