Inducible lethal ventricular arrhythmias in swine with pacing-induced heart failure

Seshadri Balaji, Kenneth W. Hewett, R. Stephen Krombach, Mark J. Clair, Xiaobu Ye, Francis G. Spinale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Rapid pacing-induced heart failure provides an excellent animal model for the study of heart failure. We studied the development of ventricular tachyarrhythmias using programmed stimulation in a pacing-induced heart failure model. We also studied action potential characteristics and the relationship between action potential and heart rate. Methods and results: Ten pigs were instrumented and were studied before the onset and every week after rapid pacing was instituted. Weekly echocardiograms and programmed stimulation were done in a sedated state. in vitro electrophysiologic studies were done on left ventricular myocardium in 4 heart-failure animals and 4 controls. All animals developed progressive heart failure with left ventricular dilatation and reduced percentage fractional shortening. No arrhythmias were induced at baseline or the first and second weeks. Ventricular fibrillation was induced in one animal on the third week and 4 animals on week 4, while there was no appreciable worsening in echocardiographic indices of ventricular dysfunction between weeks 3 and 4. Ventricular effective refractory period was unchanged during the 4 weeks. In vitro studies showed action potential prolongation in heart failure myocardium. However, action potential duration at pacing rates > 100 bpm were similar to controls. No early or delayed afterdepolarizations were observed. Conclusion: This study demonstrated an increased susceptibility to ventricular fibrillation with the development of heart failure which was not related to the degree of ventricular dysfunction. Also, the normalization of action potential duration at higher heart rates suggests that the increased incidence of inducible ventricular fibrillation in this model may not be solely due to prolonged action potential duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-503
Number of pages8
JournalBasic Research in Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Action potential
  • Heart failure
  • Sudden death
  • Swine
  • Ventricular arrhythmias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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