2017 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 579-587
The current regulatory guidelines recommend the use of QT interval to assess the risk of arrhythmogenic potential of new chemical entities. Recently, the electromechanical window (EMW), the difference in duration between electrical and mechanical systole, has been proposed as markers for drug-induced torsades de pointes (TdP); however, data of EMW in short QT model are not available. This study aimed to characterize the EMW as a marker for drug-induced ventricular arrhythmias in anesthetized rabbit model of long QT syndrome type 2 (LQT2) and short QT syndrome (SQTS) infused with reference compounds known to lengthen or shorten QT intervals. After rabbits were anesthetized with isoflurane, body surface electrocardiograms and left ventricular pressure were recorded. The LQT2 was produced by intravenous infusion with dofetilide (n = 6), quinidine (n = 6) and sotalol (n = 6) whereas the SQTS was induced by intravenous escalating concentrations of nicorandil (n = 7), pinacidil (n = 5) and cromakalim (n = 5). The EMW in anesthetized rabbits ranged from 1.3 to 53.3 msec. All three drugs known to lengthen QT intervals prolonged QT and QTcF interval while the EMW was markedly decreased to negative values. Pinacidil significantly produced QT and QTcF shortening and significantly abbreviated the EMW (p < 0.05). This study demonstrated that the EMW is associated with QT intervals (p < 0.001). It is negative in the presence of QT-prolonging drugs while it is more positive in the presence of QT-shortening drugs. The results suggest that the EMW in anesthetized rabbits can be used in drug safety evaluation in addition to the QT interval.