Local transmural action potential gradients are absent in the isolated, intact dog heart but present in the corresponding coronary-perfused wedge

Physiol Rep. 2017 May;5(10):e13251. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13251.


The left ventricular (LV) coronary-perfused canine wedge preparation is a model commonly used for studying cardiac repolarization. In wedge studies, transmembrane potentials typically are recorded; whereas, extracellular electrical recordings are commonly used in intact hearts. We compared electrically measured activation recovery interval (ARI) patterns in the intact heart with those recorded at the same location in the LV wedge preparation. We also compared electrically recorded and optically obtained ARIs in the LV wedge preparation. Five Langendorff-perfused canine hearts were paced from the right atrium. Local activation and repolarization times were measured with eight transmural needle electrodes. Subsequently, left ventricular coronary-perfused wedge preparations were prepared from these hearts while the electrodes remained in place. Three electrodes remained at identical positions as in the intact heart. Both electrograms and optical action potentials were recorded (pacing cycle length 400-4000 msec) and activation and repolarization patterns were analyzed. ARIs found in the subepicardium were shorter than in the subendocardium in the LV wedge preparation but not in the intact heart. The transmural ARI gradient recorded at the cut surface of the wedge was not different from that recorded internally. ARIs recorded internally and at the cut surface in the LV wedge preparation, both correlated with optically recorded action potentials. ARI and RT gradients in the LV wedge preparation differed from those in the intact canine heart, implying that those observations in human LV wedge preparations also should be extrapolated to the intact human heart with caution.

Keywords: APD; ARI; Repolarization; Wedge and Intact heart.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials*
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ventricular Function, Left*
  • Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging