Age dependence of the development of ventricular ...

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Title Age dependence of the development of ventricular arrhythmias in a canine model of sudden cardiac death
Author(s) N.S. Moïse, M. L. Riccio, B. Kornreich, W. J., J. Flahive, R. F., J. Gilmour
Journal Cardiovascular Research
Date 1997
Volume 34
Issue 3
Start page 483
End page 492
Abstract Objectives: Background: Methods: Results: Conclusion: The age-dependence of the development of ventricular arrhythmias was studied in German shepherd dogs with inherited ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death.A colony of German shepherd dogs has been established that exhibit inherited ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. The incidence of arrhythmias increases with age. Because ventricular tachycardia is associated with bradycardia, it was hypothesized that the increased incidence of arrhythmias was related to age-dependent slowing of heart rate.Arrhythmia counts and RR intervals were measured from serial ambulatory ECG recordings obtained in 71 dogs (1-48 weeks). In addition, 19 dogs were challenged with phenylephrine (10 micrograms/kg i.v.) at 15, 28, and 45 weeks of age, 10 dogs were challenged with epinephrine (1 microgram/kg i.v.) at 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 18, and 28 weeks of age, and 10 dogs were challenged at 28 weeks with epinephrine (2.5 micrograms/kg i.v.), before and after propranolol (0.5 mg/kg i.v.).The incidence and severity of ventricular arrhythmias increased between 7 and 28 weeks of age and decreased between 28 and 44 weeks of age. The age-dependent increase in the incidence of ventricular tachycardia was associated with age-dependent reductions in sinus rate. Baroreflex-mediated slowing of the heart rate unmasked arrhythmias in young animals that did not spontaneously display arrthythmias and exacerbated existing arrhythmias in older animals. However, the magnitude of baroreflex-induced bradycardia was similar from 7-18 weeks of age, yet the incidence of arrhythmias increased progressively. Moreover, the waning of ventricular arrhythmias in older animals was not associated with more rapid sinus rates.The risk for sudden death in dogs with inherited ventricular arrhythmias increases with age in part because of age-dependent slowing of heart rate and in part because of other heart-rate-independent factors. The correspondence between the development of ventricular tachycardia and sinus pauses is consistent with the hypothesis that ventricular arrhythmias are initiated by early afterdepolarization-induced triggered activity.
DOI 10.1016/s0008-6363(97)00078-3

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