The mechanism of focal rhythms 1 day after myocardial infarction has been ascribed to both abnormal automaticity and triggered activity arising from delayed after-depolarizations (DADs). During the course of superfusion in vitro, diastolic potentials repolarize to more negative resting potentials. The dependence of DADs and triggered activity on diastolic potentials was studied using extrinsic currents. During sustained activity (maximum diastolic potential = -61 +/- 7 mV), hyperpolarizing current decreased the DADs, rendered them subthreshold, and terminated triggered activity. During the quiescence caused by constant hyperpolarizing current, a stimulated train of action potentials produced DADs. Decreasing the current permitted augmented DADs. In quiescent preparations (resting potential = -68 +/- 7 mV), a train of stimulated action potentials was followed by subthreshold DADs. Depolarizing current increased the DAD amplitude. To exclude depolarization-induced automaticity, constant currents were applied without a previous train of stimuli. Neither DADs nor triggered activity were evoked. Therefore, DADs and triggered activity, postinfarction, depend on the diastolic potential. There is a continuity between subthreshold DADs and sustained activity. DADs may reach a magnitude in which extrinsic interventions may not adequately terminate sustained triggered activity.
- Copyright © 1989 the American Physiological Society