Early Arrhythmias, Myocardial Extracellular Potassium and pH

  • Hj. Hirche
  • R. Friedrich
  • U. Kebbel
  • F. McDonald
  • V. Zylka


It is well known that following acute coronary artery occlusion ventricular arrhythmias occur in distinct phases (Harris, 1950; Haase and Schiller, 1969; Gettes, 1974; Gülker et al., 1977; Meesmann et al., 1978; Hirche et al., 1980). A first, early phase starts 3–5 min after the onset of occlusion and lasts about 5–10 min. In our studies following occlusion of the distal half of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) in the pig, more than 50 per cent of the animals develop ventricular fibrillation (VF) during this first early phase (phase la). This phase la is followed by an interval without arrhythmias beginning about 8–10 min after the onset of occlusion and lasting for 4–10 min; 15–20 min after the onset of ischaemia the second early phase of arrhythmias (phase 1b) begins, lasting up to 15 min. About one-third of the animals develop VF during this phase (Hirche et al., 1980). This means that only 15–20 per cent of the control animals survive the la and 1b phases (Hirche et al., 1980, 1981c; Zylka et al., 1981). After this second, early phase of arrhythmias an intermediate phase of 4–8 h ensues during which arrhythmias seldom occur; 5–8 h after the onset of infarction a late phase of arrhythmias begins. This lasts 2–4 days with a maximal ectopic activity occurring at about 10–20 h after the onset of ischaemia (Harris, 1950). The reason for this sequence of post-ischaemia ventricular arrhythmias is not yet completely understood.


Ventricular Arrhythmia Left Anterior Descend Ventricular Fibrillation Coronary Sinus Coronary Artery Occlusion 
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© The contributors 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hj. Hirche
  • R. Friedrich
  • U. Kebbel
  • F. McDonald
  • V. Zylka

There are no affiliations available

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