Introduction: Dantrolene prevents arrhythmogenic Ca(2+) release during heart failure (HF). However, direct evidence to support its antiarrhythmic effects in failing hearts with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is lacking.
Methods and results: HF was induced by right ventricular pacing (312 beats/min, 4 weeks) in 19 rabbits. AMI was induced by coronary artery ligation in rabbits surviving chronic pacing (n = 17). The hearts were quickly excised and Langendorff-perfused for simultaneous membrane potential and intracellular Ca(2+) (Cai ) optical mapping when ventricular fibrillation (VF) occurred or 4 hours after AMI. The VF inducibility was defined as the ability to provoke sustained VF (>2 minutes) by pacing. Dantrolene (10 μM) was administered after baseline studies. Spontaneous VF occurred in 5 rabbits (SVF group). The ventricular premature beat (VPB) burden was significantly higher in the SVF group than the non-SVF group (P < 0.05). Dantrolene suppressed VPB burden (P = 0.03) and prolonged action potential duration (APD; P < 0.05) to reduce VF inducibility (P < 0.05). However, dantrolene shortened immediate postshock APD50 even if VF storm was suppressed.
Conclusion: In failing hearts with AMI, VPB burden plays a pivotal role in SVF occurrence. Dantrolene suppresses VPBs and/or prolongs repolarization to inhibit spontaneous VF and reduce VF inducibility.
Keywords: calcium; dantrolene; heart failure; myocardial infarction; optical mapping; pharmacology; ventricular fibrillation.
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.