PMID: 3889113Jun 1, 1985Paper

Ventricular fibrillation

Journal of the American College of Cardiology
B Surawicz


Ventricular fibrillation is the most common mechanism of sudden unexpected cardiac death in persons with asymptomatic or symptomatic coronary artery disease. The electrophysiologic mechanisms reviewed in this article include: automaticity of pacemaker fibers, transformation of nonpacemaker into pacemaker fibers, "injury" currents and reentry. Some of the conditions facilitating ventricular fibrillation include bradycardia, long QT syndrome, electrocution, electrolyte imbalance, drugs, sympathetic stimulation and myocardial ischemia. Electrophysiologic studies during acute myocardial ischemia suggest that the earliest activity at the onset of arrhythmia may originate at the sites of the surviving Purkinje fibers or at the epicardial rim. Reentrant arrhythmias arising in ischemic myocardium are attributed to nonhomogeneous distribution of local hyperkalemia and acidosis.


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