Myocardial carbon dioxide tension and intramyocardial S-T segment voltage have previously been shown to provide useful quantitative indexes of the severity of regional myocardial ischemia. This study was designed to determine if (1) changes in intramyocardial S-T segment voltage and myocardial gas tensions, with the addition of atrial pacing, could be used to assess the functional significance of a coronary stenosis, and (2) if changes in S-T voltage recorded in intramyocardial electrodes proved a more sensitive indicator of ischemia than changes recorded in epicardial electrodes. In 12 open chest dogs, a variable constrictor and an electromagnetic flow probe were placed on the proximal left circumflex coronary artery. Myocardial carbon dioxide and oxygen tensions were recorded with mass spectrometry and unipolar intramyocardial S-T segment voltage with multicontact plunge electrodes. Intramyocardial S-T voltage and myocardial carbon dioxide tension showed parallel increases with atrial pacing in the presence of subcritical, critical and supercritical coronary stenoses. In the presence of a critical stenosis, S-T segment changes recorded in deeper myocardial layers were of greater magnitude than those recorded near the epicardial surface. These findings suggest that the severity of myocardial ischemia can be assessed by measuring intramyocardial S-T voltage or myocardial gas tensions at resting and paced heart rates. They also suggest that intramyocardial S-T voltage is a more sensitive indicator of the severity of pacing-induced myocardial ischemia than epicardial S-T changes. Application of this technique to patients undergoing coronary revascularization could allow intraoperative determination of the functional significance of questionable angiographic lesions and a more rational approach to the assignment of priorities to individual arteries when multiple bypasses are being considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine