Recently, extremely high levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1) were detected in the pericardial fluid of patients undergoing cardiac surgery. This study was designed to assess the pathophysiologic importance of this finding by infusing ET-1 into the closed pericardial sac of anesthetized dogs. Systemic arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and standard ECG were recorded. Intrapericardial infusion of ET-1 (11 and 33 pmol/kg/ min; n = 4/4) for 40 min induced ventricular arrhythmias in all instances. The lower dose of ET-1 induced a substantial number of ventricular extrasystoles, couplets, and triplets. In one instance, ventricular extrasystoles accelerated into nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (VT). In animals receiving the higher dose, nonsustained VTs occurred regularly, whereas sustained VTs were detected in two of four animals. Before the onset of arrhythmias, QT time was significantly prolonged [ET-1 (11 pmol/kg/min) 180 ± 12 to 198 ± 10 ms, p < 0.05; ET-1 (33 pmol/kg/min) 192 ± 15 to 233 ± 13 ms, p < 0.01]. Hemodynamic variables did not change significantly before the onset of ventricular arrhythmias. Our results show that administration of exogenous ET-1 into the pericardial space induces ventricular arrhythmias associated with prolongation of QT time.
- Pericardial fluid
- Ventricular arrhythmias
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine