Mechanically induced action potential changes and arrhythmia in isolated and in situ canine hearts

Michael R. Franz, Daniel Burkhoff, David T. Yue, Kiichi Sagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


Stretch of excised myocardial tissue causes electrophysiological and potentially arrhythmogenic changes in transmembrane action potentials but corresponding data of the intact mammalian heart are lacking. The effects of increases in ventricular volume and pressure on epicardial monophasic action potentials were therefore investigated in isolated, cross circulated and in situ canine hearts. In seven isolated hearts, increases in ventricular volume and pressure resulted in (1) a linearly related decrease in action potential amplitude (r = 0.988; slope = 0.41% amplitudeml-1; volume intercept = 17.6 ml), mainly due to a decrease in maximum diastolic potential; (2) a decrease in action potential plateau duration (at 20% repolarisation) by 19 (SD 8)%; and (3) appearance of early afterdepolarisations, reaching up to 18% of total action potential amplitude. Afterdepolarisations occurred only when ventricular outflow was obstructed at end diastole but not at end systole. In eight in situ hearts, increase in left intraventricular pressure produced by transient occlusions of the ascending aorta was also accompanied by decrease in maximum diastolic potential and action potential plateau duration, and by appearance of early afterdepolarisations. In both isolated and in situ intact ventricles, the loading induced electrophysiological changes were associated with occurrence of ectopic ventricular beats. These data show that mechanical overload produces significant electrophysiological changes in the intact canine ventricle which may lead to arrhythmia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Afterdepolarisations
  • Arrhythmia
  • Isolated canine ventricles
  • Monophasic action potentials
  • Ventricular wall stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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