Steeper restitution slopes across right ventricular endocardium in patients with cardiomyopathy at high risk of ventricular arrhythmias

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Mar;292(3):H1262-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00913.2006. Epub 2006 Nov 10.


Steep action potential duration (APD) restitution slopes (>1) and spatial APD restitution heterogeneity provide the substrate for ventricular fibrillation in computational models and experimental studies. Their relationship to ventricular arrhythmia vulnerability in human cardiomyopathy has not been defined. Patients with cardiomyopathy [left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction <40%] and no history of ventricular arrhythmias underwent risk stratification with programmed electrical stimulation or T wave alternans (TWA). Low-risk patients (n = 10) had no inducible ventricular tachycardia (VT) or negative TWA, while high-risk patients (n = 8) had inducible VT or positive TWA. Activation recovery interval (ARI) restitution slopes were measured simultaneously from 10 right ventricular (RV) endocardial sites during an S1-S2 pacing protocol. ARI restitution slope heterogeneity was defined as the coefficient of variation of slopes. Mean ARI restitution slope was significantly steeper in the high-risk group compared with the low-risk group [1.16 (SD 0.31) vs. 0.59 (SD 0.19), P = 0.0002]. The proportion of endocardial recording sites with a slope >1 was significantly larger in the high-risk patients [47% (SD 35) vs. 13% (SD 21), P = 0.022]. Spatial heterogeneity of ARI restitution slopes was similar between the two groups [29% (SD 16) vs. 39% (SD 34), P = 0.48]. There was an inverse linear relationship between the ARI restitution slope and the minimum diastolic interval (P < 0.001). In cardiomyopathic patients at high risk of ventricular arrhythmias, ARI restitution slopes along the RV endocardium are steeper, but restitution slope heterogeneity is similar compared with those at low risk. Steeper ARI restitution slopes may increase the propensity for ventricular arrhythmias in patients with impaired left ventricular function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Risk Factors
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Function, Right / physiology*