We have investigated the influence of ventricular loading on repolarization from beat to beat in the human heart. Sixteen patients undergoing routine coronary artery surgery were studied. Left ventricular epicardial monophasic action potentials and local electrograms were recorded during acute changes in ventricular loading induced by transient aortic occlusion. Monophasic action potential duration shortened (P less than 0.0001) and returned to control values within one or two beats after release (P less than 0.0001). Values at 90% repolarization were 325 +/- 31 ms preocclusion, 311 +/- 29 ms during occlusion, 326 +/- 32 ms postocclusion. The Q-T interval of the local epicardial electrogram shortened during occlusion (P less than 0.001) and returned to control values after release (P greater than 0.0001): 396 +/- 44 ms preocclusion, 379 +/- 41 ms during occlusion, and, 399 +/- 42 ms postocclusion. A significant correlation was obtained between changes in peak systolic pressure and changes in monophasic action potential duration (R = 0.96; P less than 0.0001 at 90% repolarization). A significant correlation was also observed between changes in peak systolic pressure and the Q-T interval of the local electrogram (R = 0.91; P less than 0.0001). This study shows that abrupt changes in ventricular loading from one beat to the next induce significant changes in the timing of ventricular repolarization. These results may well be relevant to the initiation of arrhythmia by a single ventricular ectopic beat, particularly under pathological conditions.
- Copyright © 1992 the American Physiological Society