Stretch-induced ventricular arrhythmias during acute ischemia and reperfusion

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004 Jul;97(1):377-83. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01235.2001.


Mechanical stretch has been demonstrated to have electrophysiological effects on cardiac muscle, including alteration of the probability of excitation, alteration of the action potential waveform, and stretch-induced arrhythmia (SIA). We demonstrate that regional ventricular ischemia due to coronary artery occlusion increases arrhythmogenic effects of transient diastolic stretch, whereas globally ischemic hearts showed no such increase. We tested our hypothesis that, during phase Ia ischemia, regionally ischemic hearts may be more susceptible to triggered arrhythmogenesis due to transient diastolic stretch. During the first 20 min of regional ischemia, the probability of eliciting a ventricular SIA (P(SIA)) by transient diastolic stretch increased significantly. However, after 30 min, P(SIA) decreased to a value comparable with baseline measurements, as expected during phase Ib, where most ventricular arrhythmias are of reentrant mechanisms. We also suggest that mechanoelectrical coupling may contribute to the nonreentrant mechanisms underlying reperfusion-induced arrhythmia. When coronary artery occlusion was relieved after 30 min of ischemia, we observed an increase in P(SIA) and the maintenance of this elevated level throughout 20 min of reperfusion. We conclude that mechanoelectrical coupling may underlie triggered arrhythmogenesis during phase 1a ischemia and reperfusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Rabbits
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology