Effects of ventricular premature stimulus coupling interval on blood pressure and heart rate turbulence

Mari A. Watanabe, Joseph E. Marine, Robert Sheldon, Mark E. Josephson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Background - Heart rate turbulence (HRT) is a promising noninvasive risk stratifier for mortality after myocardial infarction. On the basis of a study of ventricular premature complex coupling interval and sympathetic nerve burst amplitude, we hypothesized that measures of HRT would increase with increased prematurity of the coupling interval. Methods and Results - Twenty-eight patients undergoing programmed electrical stimulation were studied (12 with prior myocardial infarction, aged 60±18 years). An extrastimulus was delivered from the right ventricular apex after 20 sinus beats with a V-S2 coupling interval decremented by 20 to 30 ms until refractoriness was reached. Turbulence slope (TS), turbulence timing (TT), and turbulence onset were calculated for each extrastimulus, and the linear regressions of these parameters on coupling interval and compensatory pause were calculated. Arterial blood pressure was measured with arterial catheter or a noninvasive continuous blood pressure transducer (Buffington cuff). TS and turbulence onset were abnormal in 4 and 13 patients, respectively. HRT parameters were significantly correlated with coupling interval or compensatory pause in only 2 or 3 patients for a given regression analysis. This absence of correlation was found likely to be due to lack of correlation between compensatory pause and systolic blood pressure after the compensatory pause. Heart rate and TS were correlated: Patients with high heart rate had low TS and late TT (TS=-2.7+0.01-sinus cycle length, P=0.018; TT=8.8 to 0.005-sinus cycle length, P=0.013). Conclusions - HRT can be induced by programmed stimulation. In this setting, heart rate affects HRT but not ventricular premature complex prematurity. Induced HRT seems to be a valid method for measuring HRT parameters in patients with few ventricular premature complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-330
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 16 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Death, sudden
  • Electrophysiology
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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