Effects of chemical subendocardial ablation on activation rate gradient during ventricular fibrillation

Y. M. Cha, T. Uchida, P. L. Wolf, B. B. Peters, M. C. Fishbein, H. S. Karagueuzian, P. S. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The mechanism by which an endocardial-epicardial activation rate gradient develops after 1 or 2 min of sustained ventricular fibrillation is unknown. We recorded from electrodes on the epicardium and from hook electrodes in the endocardium in three open-chest control dogs during prolonged ventricular fibrillation. The same recordings were also made in seven dogs after right ventricular subendocardial ablation with Lugol solution and in three dogs after substitution of air for the cavitary blood. The effects of these interventions, i.e., Lugol ablation (n = 2) and the exposure to air (n = 2), on the subendocardial Purkinje fiber transmembrane action potential properties were also evaluated in vitro using microelectrode recording techniques. The in vivo studies showed a significant endocardial-epicardial rate gradient in the control dogs and in dogs that had air substituted for the cavitary blood. In comparison, in dogs that underwent chemical subendocardial ablation, the activation cycle lengths for the endocardium and epicardium were not significantly different. The in vitro studies showed that subendocardial Purkinje fiber action potentials could still be recorded for up to 10 min of exposure to air. In comparison, in the tissues subjected to chemical ablation, no transmembrane action potentials could be recorded from either the Purkinje fibers or superficial ventricular muscle cells. We conclude that the development of an endocardial-epicardial activation rate gradient during prolonged ventricular fibrillation depends on the presence of intact subendocardial Purkinje fibers and ventricular myocytes. The retained cavitary blood is not responsible for the development of the rate gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1998-H2009
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6 38-6
StatePublished - 1995


  • Purkinje fiber
  • electrophysiology
  • endocardium
  • epicardium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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