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Impact of hypokalemia on electromechanical window, excitation wavelength and repolarization gradients in guinea-pig and rabbit hearts


, : Impact of hypokalemia on electromechanical window, excitation wavelength and repolarization gradients in guinea-pig and rabbit hearts. Plos One 9(8): E105599-E105599

Normal hearts exhibit a positive time difference between the end of ventricular contraction and the end of QT interval, which is referred to as the electromechanical (EM) window. Drug-induced prolongation of repolarization may lead to the negative EM window, which was proposed to be a novel proarrhythmic marker. This study examined whether abnormal changes in the EM window may account for arrhythmogenic effects produced by hypokalemia. Left ventricular pressure, electrocardiogram, and epicardial monophasic action potentials were recorded in perfused hearts from guinea-pig and rabbit. Hypokalemia (2.5 mM K(+)) was found to prolong repolarization, reduce the EM window, and promote tachyarrhythmia. Nevertheless, during both regular pacing and extrasystolic excitation, the increased QT interval invariably remained shorter than the duration of mechanical systole, thus yielding positive EM window values. Hypokalemia-induced arrhythmogenicity was associated with slowed ventricular conduction, and shortened effective refractory periods, which translated to a reduced excitation wavelength index. Hypokalemia also evoked non-uniform prolongation of action potential duration in distinct epicardial regions, which resulted in increased spatial variability in the repolarization time. These findings suggest that arrhythmogenic effects of hypokalemia are not accounted for by the negative EM window, and are rather attributed to abnormal changes in ventricular conduction times, refractoriness, excitation wavelength, and spatial repolarization gradients.

US$19.90

PMID: 25141124

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105599


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