Ischemia-induced changes in human endocardial electrograms during percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty

Paul T. Vaitkus, John M. Miller, Alfred E. Buxton, Mark E. Josephson, Warren K. Laskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


The electrophysiologic sequelae of acute reversible transmural myocardial ischemia in humans are poorly understood. Experimental models have demonstrated slowing of conduction in ischemic myocardium, but similar evidence in humans is lacking. We used percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty as a model for reversible ischemia to (1) analyze the regional endocardial electrogram response to ischemia and (2) determine whether an initial episode of ischemia may mitigate the effects of a subsequent bout of ischemia (preconditioning). We recorded bipolar left ventricular endocardial electrograms during elective angioplasty in 11 patients and examined changes in amplitude and duration on the electrogram. Each of the 11 patients underwent two to seven balloon inflations. The electrogram amplitude at 90 seconds of balloon occlusion fell to 86% ± 17% of the control value, and the electrogram duration increased to 109% ± 12% of the control value. These variables returned to baseline values by 30 and 120 seconds, respectively, after balloon deflation. Among the six patients in the preconditioning protocol, the electrogram duration at 90 seconds was less with the second inflation (106% ± 7%) than with the first (115% ± 17%, p < 0.05). The difference in electrogram amplitude between the first and the second inflation was not significant (88% ± 17% vs 85% ± 13%, p = NS). At 60 seconds of ischemia there was no difference between normal sinus rhythm and paced complexes in the magnitude of change in electrogram amplitude or duration. We conclude that acute transmural myocardial ischemia in humans is associated with a decrease in local bipolar endocardial electrogram amplitude and an increase in electrogram duration. These findings are consistent with slowed conduction in the ischemic zone and are in agreement with experimental findings in animals. Furthermore, a preconditioning effect on electrogram duration suggests a possible protective effect for repeated bouts of ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1481-1490
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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