Rapid ventricular pacing (RVP) in dogs creates a well characterized model of dilated cardiomyopathy. Standard pacing protocols use RVP at 240-260 beats/min for 2-4 weeks, and result in high mortality rates if continued longer. The authors describe a modification of RVP that results in significant heart failure by 4 weeks, but can be continued for up to 10 weeks with low mortality. Nineteen mongrels underwent RVP at 215 beats/min for 10 weeks. Serial pressure-volume analysis and echocardiography were performed in this model to assess longitudinally changes in left ventricular (LV) function and volumes. The mortality rate was 10%. Significant progressive LV dysfunction with concomitant LV enlargement was observed throughout the pacing period. Finally, norepinephrine levels were elevated at the end of pacing, consistent with an activated sympathetic system. This modified RVP protocol permits long-term pacing with a low mortality rate and results in progressive heart failure throughout the pacing period. This model would be useful in the long-term evaluation of newer surgical and medical therapies of the failing heart.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering