Document Detail

High-frequency ventricular ectopy can increase sympathetic neural activity in humans.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20184979     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Sudden cardiac death is usually caused by ventricular arrhythmias and in many cases, is preceded by frequent ventricular ectopy. It is known that ectopic beats cause transient increases in sympathetic nerve activity (SNA). OBJECTIVE: Because high SNA is known to be arrhythmogenic, we hypothesized that high rates of ectopy increase SNA, thereby creating a milieu that favors development of ventricular tachycardia and/or fibrillation. METHODS: This study measured muscle SNA, coronary sinus catecholamine, and arterial pressure during graded rates of ventricular ectopy (from 4:1 to 1:1, sinus to ectopic beat ratio) in a total of 21 patients referred for electrophysiologic testing. RESULTS: Both muscle SNA and coronary sinus norepinephrine increased significantly with increased ectopy frequency (P < .05). Moreover, the change in muscle SNA correlated significantly with the change in coronary sinus norepinephrine levels (r = .72, P < .001). CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate that sympathoexcitation evoked by high rates of ventricular ectopy can contribute to a state of elevated SNA both in peripheral tissues and within the heart. This altered autonomic state may contribute to an increased susceptibility to life-threatening tachyarrhythmias in patients with high rates of ectopy.
Michael L Smith; Mohamed H Hamdan; Stephen L Wasmund; Christina F Kneip; Jose A Joglar; Richard L Page
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2010-01-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Heart rhythm : the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1556-3871     ISO Abbreviation:  Heart Rhythm     Publication Date:  2010 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-22     Completed Date:  2010-06-10     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101200317     Medline TA:  Heart Rhythm     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  497-503     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Department of Integrative Physiology, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / blood,  etiology*
Catecholamines / blood
Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
Middle Aged
Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology*
Ventricular Premature Complexes / blood,  complications*,  physiopathology
Young Adult
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
Comment In:
Heart Rhythm. 2010 Apr;7(4):504-5   [PMID:  20189496 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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