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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1987 Nov;10(5):1040-7.

Activation sequence of ventricular tachycardia: endocardial and epicardial mapping studies in the human ventricle.

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Department of Medicine, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Thirty-five patients with ischemic heart disease and ventricular arrhythmias underwent intraoperative activation mapping at the time of coronary artery bypass surgery. During ventricular tachycardia, the sequence of activation in the intact ventricle was recorded simultaneously from 110 endocardial or 110 epicardial sites, or both. A balloon array of electrodes, inserted across the mitral valve, was used to obtain endocardial recordings in the left ventricle, and this appeared to facilitate the induction of ventricular tachycardia. Of 61 episodes of tachycardia, 16 (15 patients) were recorded with the epicardial sock and 45 (20 patients) with the additional use of the endocardial balloon. The sequence of activation during tachycardia was observed to conform to one of four configurations: monoregional spread was the most common activation sequence recorded on both the endocardium and epicardium, while biregional activation and figure eight sequences were recorded exclusively on the epicardium and endocardium, respectively. The fourth sequence was a circular spread of activation observed on both surfaces. Continuous activation throughout the tachycardia cycle length was an infrequent finding. Simultaneous recordings of endocardial and epicardial activation were obtained in 45% of episodes. The sequence of activation recorded on one surface was matched by a similar sequence on the remaining surface in less than half of these. The onset of endocardial activation preceded that of the epicardium in greater than 90% of tachycardia episodes, and the duration of left ventricular endocardial excitation often exceeded that recorded epicardially over both ventricles. The epicardium, however, did appear to be an important determinant of surface electrocardiographic configuration.

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