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In vivo measurements of atrial repolarization alternans based on standard pacemaker technology
Computers in Cardiology
36th Annual Computers in Cardiology Conference, Park City, Utah, USA, September 13-16, 2009
It has been shown that repolarization alternans, a beat-to-beat alternation in action potential duration, enhances dispersion of repolarization above a critical heart rate and promotes susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias. It is unknown whether repolarization alternans is measurable in the atria using standard pacemakers and whether it plays a role in promoting atrial fibrillation. In this work, atrial repolarization alternans amplitude and periodicity are studied in a sheep model of pacing-induced atrial fibrillation. Two pacemakers, each with one right atrial and ventricular lead, were implanted in 4 male sheep after ablation of the atrioventricular junction. The first one was used to deliver rapid pacing for measurements of right atrial repolarization alternans and the second one to record a unipolar electrogram. Atrial repolarization alternans appeared rate-dependent and its amplitude increased as a function of pacing rate. Repolarization alternans was intermittent but no periodicity was detected. An increase of repolarization alternans preceding episodes of non-sustained atrial fibrillation suggests that repolarization alternans is a promising parameter for assessment of atrial fibrillation susceptibility.
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