Attachment of meandering reentrant wave fronts to anatomic obstacles in the atrium: Role of the obstacle size

Takanori Ikeda, Masaaki Yashima, Takumi Uchida, Dustan Hough, Michael C. Fishbein, William J. Mandel, Peng Sheng Chen, Hrayr S. Karagueuzian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Acetylcholine chloride (ACh) induces nonstationary meandering reentrant wave fronts in the atrium. We hypothesized that an anatomic obstacle of a suitable size prevents meandering by causing attachment of the reentrant wave front tip to the obstacle. Eight isolated canine right atrial tissues (area, 3.8x3.2 cm) were mounted in a tissue bath and superfused with Tyrode's solution containing 10 to 15 μmol/L ACh. Holes with 2- to 10-mm diameters were sequentially created in the center of the tissue with biopsy punches. Reentry was induced by a premature stimulus after eight regular stimuli at 400-ms cycle length. The endocardial activation maps and the motion of the induced reentry were visualized dynamically before and after each test lesion using 509 bipolar electrodes. In the absence of a lesion (n=8), the induced single reentrant wave front, in the form of a spiral wave, meandered irregularly from one site to another before terminating at the tissue border. Holes with 2- to 4-mm diameters (n=6) had no effect on meandering. However, when the hole diameters were increased to 6 mm (n=8), 8 mm (n=8), and 10 mm (n=6), the tip of the spiral wave attached to the holes, and reentry became stationary. Transition from meandering to an attached state converted the irregular and polymorphic electrogram to a periodic and monomorphic activity with longer cycle lengths (101±11 versus 131±9 ms for no hole versus 10-mm hole, respectively; P<.001). Regression analysis showed a significant positive linear correlation between the cycle length of the reentry and the hole diameter (r=.89, P<.01) and between the cycle length of the reentry and the excitable gap (r=.89, P<.05). We conclude that a critically sized anatomic obstacle converts a nonstationary meandering reentrant wave front to a stationary one. This transition converts an irregular 'fibrillation-like' activity into regular monomorphic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-764
Number of pages12
JournalCirculation research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


  • Acetylcholine
  • Atrium
  • Mapping
  • Reentry
  • Source-sink relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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