Quantification of Effects of Global Ischemia on Dynamics of Ventricular Fibrillation in Isolated Rabbit Heart

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Ventricular fibrillation (VF) leads to global ischemia of the heart. After 1 to 2 minutes of onset, the VF rate decreases and appears more organized. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of no-flow global ischemia on nonlinear wave dynamics and establish the mechanism of ischemia-induced slowing of the VF rate.


This study suggests that rotating spiral waves are most likely the underlying mechanism of VF and contribute to its frequency content. Ischemia-induced decrease in the VF rate results from an increase in the rotation period of spiral waves that occurs secondary to an increase in their core area. Remarkably, similar findings in the TTX protocol suggest that reduced excitability during ischemia is an important underlying mechanism for the changes seen. (Circulation. 1998;98:1688-1696.)

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