Electrophysiological, Anatomical and Histological Remodeling of the Heart to AV Block Enhances Susceptibility to Arrhythmogenic Effects of QT-Prolonging Drugs

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The present study was designed to investigate what kinds of adaptation occurred in the canine chronic AV block model, which has been used to study torsade de pointes (TdP). Dogs at 7 – 10 days (acute phase) and 28 – 56 days (chronic phase) after AV block were assessed. Ventricular effective refractory period and monophasic action potential duration were prolonged in chronic animals compared with acute animals; moreover the electrically vulnerable period was prolonged in chronic animals. Non-specific I<sub>Kr</sub> channel blocker cisapride (1 and 10 mg/kg, p.o.) was administered without anesthesia to estimate the feasibility of QT prolongation. In chronic animals, QT prolongation followed by TdP was induced in one dog by the low dose and in all by the high dose, which was not observed in acute animals. MR images indicated increases of diameter and wall thickness of both ventricles in chronic animals. The degree of hypertrophy was prominent in the right ventricular wall and septal wall. Heart weight of the chronic animals was 1.7 times greater than that of normal control subjects. Photo- and electron-micrograph analyses showed myocardial cell hypertrophy with parallel increases of collagen fiber and extracellular space in chronic animals. These electrophysiological, anatomical and histological adaptations may predispose the chronic AV block heart to drug-induced QT prolongation with enhanced risk of re-entry and early afterdepolarization, leading to the onset of TdP.


  • The Japanese Journal of Pharmacology

    The Japanese Journal of Pharmacology 88(3), 341-350, 2002-03-01

    The Japanese Pharmacological Society

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Cited by:  11


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