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Auton Neurosci. 2013 Mar;174(1-2):54-60. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2013.01.004. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Effects of low-intensity atrial ganglionated plexi stimulation on ventricular electrophysiology and arrhythmogenesis.

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Department of Cardiology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and Cardiovascular Research Institute of Wuhan University, PR China.



Atrial ganglionated plexi (GP) have been shown to modulate sinus rate, atrioventricular conduction and atrial electrophysiology. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of low-intensity GP stimulation (GPS) on ventricular electrophysiological properties in normal heart and on ventricular arrhythmogenesis after acute myocardial ischemia (AMI) in canine.


Thirty-nine dogs were assigned into the normal heart group (n=12) and the acute myocardial ischemia (AMI) group (n=27, 12 in control and 15 in low-intensity GPS). In the normal heart group, ventricular effective refractory period (ERP), dynamic restitution and electrical alternans were measured at baseline and after 6-hour low-intensity GPS. In the AMI group, the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias was determined during 1-hour recording after AMI was induced. In the normal heart, 6-hour low-intensity GPS significantly prolonged ventricular ERP and action potential duration (APD) at each site (all P<0.05) but did not change their spatial dispersions when compared with baseline. Low-intensity GPS also caused an upward shift of ventricular restitution curves in each site but did not change the slope of restitution curves. APD alternans after low-intensity GPS occurred at longer pacing cycle length at each site when compared with baseline (all P<0.05). In the AMI heart, the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias in low-intensity GPS group was significantly lower than that in control group (P<0.05).


Low-intensity GPS induces no increase in the risk of ventricular arrhythmias in the normal heart as well as protects against ventricular arrhythmogenesis during AMI.

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