PMID: 7797763Jul 1, 1995Paper

Idiopathic atrial fibrillation in dogs: electrophysiologic determinants and mechanisms of antiarrhythmic action of flecainide

Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Z WangStanley Nattel

Abstract

This study sought to determine the mechanisms of idiopathic atrial fibrillation and the atrial antifibrillatory action of flecainide in dogs. In a small subset of dogs, sustained atrial fibrillation can be readily induced in the absence of vagal tone. The electrophysiologic mechanisms underlying this ability to sustain atrial fibrillation, and of flecainide action on the arrhythmia, are unknown. Six dogs with inducible sustained atrial fibrillation were studied before and after flecainide administration and compared with a control group of 10 dogs. Dogs with atrial fibrillation differed in displaying more shortening of the atrial refractory period with increased rate, resulting in a significantly shorter refractory period and wavelength for reentry at rapid rates, and in increased regional dispersion in refractoriness. Activation maps during sustained fibrillation showed a mean (+/- SE) of 6.3 +/- 0.4 coexistent zones of reentry, compatible with short wavelengths, whereas in control dogs activation during self-limited atrial fibrillation was better organized, and the number of reentrant circuits was smaller. Quantitative analysis demonstrated significantly greater inhomogeneity of activation during atrial fibrillation in dogs w...Continue Reading

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