Interaction of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system on ventricular refractoriness assessed by local fibrillation intervals in the canine heart

T. Opthof, L.R.C. Dekker, R. Coronel, J.T. Vermeulen, F.J. van Capelle, M.J. Janse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim was to assess the effects of autonomic nerve stimulation on local ventricular refractoriness by measuring local ventricular fibrillation intervals.

METHODS: In 10 dogs on cardiopulmonary bypass, ventricular fibrillation intervals were recorded simultaneously at up to 32 sites before and after neural stimulation. In four dogs (group 1) the response to bilateral stellate ganglion stimulation was measured before and after bilateral cervical vagotomy. In three dogs (group 2) bilateral stellate ganglion stimulation, vagal nerve stimulation, and combined vagal and stellate ganglia stimulation were performed. In three dogs (group 3) the same protocol was applied after total decentralisation of the autonomic nervous system.

RESULTS: Bilateral stellate ganglion stimulation shortened the ventricular fibrillation interval at 44-50% of myocardial sites before and after vagotomy, whereas prolongation of the interval was observed at 14-18% of the sites. At higher stimulus strength shortening of the interval was measured at 85% of the sites in the intact and decentralised groups. No prolongation was observed. The shortening was largest in the decentralised group (11.1 ms). Dispersion in refractoriness increased in hearts from all groups, but not in each individual heart. Left, right, or bilateral vagal stimulation was without effect at about 75% of the tested sites. The fact that the response to autonomic nerve stimulation varies from site to site warrants our approach of simultaneous recordings at multiple sites. Dispersion in refractoriness was not affected by vagal stimulation. Combined autonomic stimulation had approximately the same effect on dispersion in refractoriness as bilateral stellate ganglion stimulation alone. However, vagal stimulation attenuated the responses to bilateral stellate ganglion stimulation by some 20% in the decentralised group.

CONCLUSIONS: Vagal stimulation has minor effects on ventricular refractoriness, but this is not due to sparse innervation, since vagal stimulation is able to mitigate the effects of sympathetic stimulation in decentralised hearts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-9
Number of pages7
JournalCardiovascular Research
Volume27
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1993
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Dogs
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Heart
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System
  • Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Vagotomy
  • Ventricular Fibrillation

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