Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
ISSN-L : 1346-9843
Clinical Investigation
Discordant Repolarization Alternans-Induced Atrial Fibrillation is Suppressed by Verapamil
Kenji HiromotoHiroki ShimizuYoshio FurukawaTetsuzou KanemoriTakanao MineTohru MasuyamaMitsumasa Ohyanagi
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2005 Volume 69 Issue 11 Pages 1368-1373


Background Ventricular alternans of repolarization produces serious ventricular arrhythmias in experimental models. The present study investigated the role of alternans of atrial repolarization in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods and Results Electrophysiological studies were performed in 19 patients without structural heart disease. Monophasic action potentials (MAP) were recorded with 2 Franz catheters during steady state pacing, starting at a cycle length (CL) of 400 ms with subsequent decrements of 10 ms. Duration from the onset of upstroke to 90% repolarization of the MAP were measured. If discordant alternans (DA) was present during pacing, verapamil was administrated, and MAP measurements were repeated. Rapid pacing resulted in concordant alternans to DA in 13 of 19 (68%) patients. AF was initiated after the induction of DA in 8 of 13 patients (p=0.012). Verapamil treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the longest pacing CL at which DA was induced (207±19 vs 178±17 ms, p<0.0001). Conclusions Rapid atrial pacing induced DA and was associated with initiation of AF. Furthermore, induction of DA was suppressed by verapamil. Reducing the spatiotemporal repolarization heterogeneity may be how the calcium-channel blockade prevents initiation of AF. (Circ J 2005; 69: 1368 - 1373)

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