Background: Patients with sustained ventricular tachycardia after acute myocardial infarction frequently have characteristic abnormalities of left ventricular endocardial electrical activity, including fractionated (prolonged, multicomponent, low-amplitude), split (having discrete widely separated deflections), and late (extending after the end of the QRS complex) electrograms. The exact cause and source of these electrograms are not clear. Methods and Results: In this study, endocardial electrograms from 18 patients were recorded with a 20-electrode array from the same area immediately before and immediately after resection of subendocardial tissue at the time of surgery for ventricular tachycardia. Electrograms could be compared before and after resection from 298 of 360 (83%) of the electrodes. Before resection, split electrograms were present in 130 (44%) and late components in 81 (27%) of the recordings. Recordings made after resection showed fewer abnormalities, including complete absence of split electrograms as well as all previously recorded late components (P<.02). Mean electrogram amplitude increased from 0.5±0.8 to 1.0±1.6 mV (P<.0001) because of removal of the attenuating effect of endocardial scar; mean duration decreased from 112±38 to 65±27 ms (P<.0001) mainly because of loss of late and split components. Overall electrogram contour was very similar aside from these changes. Conclusions: These data show that (1) some of the signal recorded on the endocardial surface is derived from deeper tissue layers and (2) split and late electrogram components appear to be generated by cells in the superficial endocardial layers, since they are eradicated by removal of this tissue. These findings correspond well with previous histological studies of resection specimens that show bundles of surviving muscle cells separated by layers of dense scar that act as an insulator.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)