Mechanisms underlying different surface ECG morphologies of recurrent monomorphic ventricular tachycardia and their modification by procainamide

Stefan Osswald, David J. Wilber, Jiunn Lee Lin, Duke Du, Hartley B. Holden, Jeremy N. Ruskin, Hasan Garan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


ECG Pleomorphism of Ventricular Tachycardia. Introduction: Distinct surface ECG morphologies (ECGMs), from one episode to the next, of recurrent monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) in the same patient complicate endocardial catheter mapping and the success of ablative therapy. This study investigates the incidence and mechanisms of multiple ECGMs during recurrent monomorphic VTs in a canine model of experimental myocardial infarction (MI). Methods and Results: Computerized ECG analysis and simultaneous endocardial and epicardial activation mapping with a 64 bipolar electrode array were used to analyze the relation between site of VT origin, local activation sequence, and surface ECGM in 72 VT episodes induced in 9 of 17 dogs with experimental MI. Pairwise comparisons of all VTs induced in the same animal were done in drug-free state (47 VTs) and after intravenous procainamide (25 VTs). In drug-free state, VT pairs with similar surface ECGMs manifested endocardial breakthrough sites (BSs) within a distance < 10 mm in 46 (100%) of 46 VT pairs compared to 43 (45%) of 95 VT pairs with different surface ECGMs (P < 0.0001). Of all 89 VT pairs with endocardial BSs within < 10 mm, similar endocardial activation patterns were found in 34 (74%) of 46 pairs with similar ECGMs in contrast to 6 (14%) of 43 pairs with different ECGMs (P < 0.001). Similar comparisons of VT pairs induced after intravenous procainamide administration showed that the endocardial BSs were located within < 10 mm in 9 (75%) of 12 VT pairs with similar and in 17 (49%) of 95 with different surface ECGMs, respectively (P = NS). Conclusions: In the same heart, similar surface ECGMs of recurrent VT are highly predictive of closely spaced endocardial BSs in drug-free state, but not after procainamide administration. Nearly half of the VTs with different surface ECGMs still originate from closely spaced endocardial BSs but commonly manifest a change in the endocardial activation spread from this site. Thus, assumptions about different mechanisms and sites of VT origin based on different surface ECGMs should be made with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • canine model
  • ECG polymorphism
  • procainamide
  • ventricular mapping
  • ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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