Existence of bistability and correlation with arrhythmogenesis in paced sheep atria.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Studies of the electrical dynamics of cardiac tissue are important for understanding the mechanisms of arrhythmias. This study uses high-frequency pacing to investigate the dynamics of sheep atria.

Methods and results

A 504-electrode mapping plaque was affixed to the right atrium in six sheep. Cathodal pacing stimuli were delivered to the center of the plaque. Pacing period (Tp) was decreased from 275 +/- 25 msec to 75 +/- 25 msec and then increased to 230 +/- 70 msec in steps of either 5 or 10 msec. In all 21 trials in six sheep, the atrium responded 1:1 at longer Tps and 2:1 at shorter Tps. As Tp was decreased, the response switched to 2:1 at a particular Tp. Conversely, as Tp was increased, the response switched back to 1:1 at a particular Tp. Over 21 trials, the 1:1-to-2:1 and 2:1-to-1:1 transitions occurred at 119.5 +/- 18.8 msec and 130.0 +/- 19.1 msec, respectively. This hysteretic behavior yielded bistability windows, 10.5 +/- 7.2 msec wide, wherein 1:1 and 2:1 responses existed at the same Tp. In 15 trials and in all animals, idiopathic wavefronts emanating from outside the mapped region passed through the mapped region. In 13 of those trials, the idiopathic wavefronts occurred at Tps within the bistability window or within 35 msec of its upper or lower limit.


Bistability windows and idiopathic wavefronts were observed and found to be correlated with each other, suggesting a connection between bistability and arrhythmogenesis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Oliver, RA; Hall, GM; Bahar, S; Krassowska, W; Wolf, PD; Dixon-Tulloch, EG; Gauthier, DJ

Published Date

  • July 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 797 - 805

PubMed ID

  • 10921797

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-8167

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1045-3873

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2000.tb00051.x


  • eng