The purpose of this study was to develop an animal model of atrial flutter (AFL) or fibrillation (AFB) and to determine precisely the pathway of atrial activation during arrhythmias induced by programmed stimulation. In 10 dogs, a shunt from the left subclavian artery to the left upper pulmonary vein was created to produce left atrial enlargement. Five months later, using programmed electrical stimulation, it was possible to induce 17 sustained atrial tachycardias in 9 of the 10 dogs, including 9 episodes of AFL caused by circus movement reentry, 6 episodes of focal tachycardia, and 2 episodes of AFB. Short cycle length left atrial tachycardias caused by either circus movement or a focus did not propagate in a uniform 1:1 pattern to the right atrium (RA), resulting in RA dissociation. In these arrhythmias, complex wavefronts from both current and preceding left atrial cycles coexisted in the RA. Circus movement was associated with a spectrum of different re- entrant pathways with different path lengths. These differences in the path length were determined by various ways in which obstacles such as the superior vena cava and orifice of the right atrial appendage or pulmonary vein orifices were combined by contiguous areas of functional block.
- Activation mapping
- Atrial fibrillation
- Atrial flutter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine