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Vagal stimulation prior to atrial rapid pacing protects the atrium from electrical remodeling in anesthetized dogs.

Manabu Takei, Masato Tsuboi, Tatsuya Usui, Takeshi Hanaoka, Fumio Kurogouchi, Masakazu Aruga, Yuuichi Katagiri, Mafumi Owa, Keishi Kubo, Kendo Kiyosawa
Published: 1 December 2001
Japanese Circulation Journal , Volume 65, pp 1077-1081; doi:10.1253/jcj.65.1077

Abstract: Atrial electrical remodeling is thought to be the cause of the maintenance of atrial fibrillation (AF). Although the initiation and maintenance of AF is partially associated with autonomic nervous tone, vagally mediated AF does not tend to become permanent. Therefore, the effects of preceding vagal stimulation (VS) on the atrial effective refractory period (ERP) under electrical remodeling conditions were investigated in anesthetized dogs. Atrial ERPs were measured at 5 sites before and after a 7-h period of atrial rapid pacing in the control group. In the VS group, the vagus nerve was stimulated for 20 min before a period of atrial rapid pacing. Atrial rapid pacing shortened the ERP at each site in the control group (electrical remodeling). On the other hand, atrial rapid pacing after VS did not shorten the ERP at any site in the VS group. Tetrodotoxin, which was administered into the fatty tissue overlying the right atrial side of the right pulmonary vein junctions, blocked the protective effect of VS against the shortening of the ERP induced by atrial rapid pacing. In contrast, atropine did not interfere with such protective effects. These results suggest that VS prior to atrial rapid pacing protects the atrium from atrial electrical remodeling.
Keywords: maintenance / Electrical Remodeling / atrial rapid pacing

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