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Anti-arrhythmic effects of hypercalcemia in hyperkalemic, Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts.

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Tse, Gary 
Sun, Bing 
Wong, Sheung Ting 
Tse, Vivian 
Yeo, Jie Ming 


The present study examined the ventricular arrhythmic and electrophysiological properties during hyperkalemia (6.3 mM [K+] vs. 4 mM in normokalemia) and anti-arrhythmic effects of hypercalcemia (2.2 mM [Ca2+]) in Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts. Monophasic action potential recordings were obtained from the left ventricle during right ventricular pacing. Hyperkalemia increased the proportion of hearts showing provoked ventricular tachycardia (VT) from 0 to 6 of 7 hearts during programmed electrical stimulation (Fisher's exact test, P<0.05). It shortened the epicardial action potential durations (APDx) at 90, 70, 50 and 30% repolarization and ventricular effective refractory periods (VERPs) (analysis of variance, P<0.05) without altering activation latencies. Endocardial APDx and VERPs were unaltered. Consequently, ∆APDx (endocardial APDx-epicardial APDx) was increased, VERP/latency ratio was decreased and critical intervals for reexcitation (APD90-VERP) were unchanged. Hypercalcemia treatment exerted anti-arrhythmic effects during hyperkalemia, reducing the proportion of hearts showing VT to 1 of 7 hearts. It increased epicardial VERPs without further altering the remaining parameters, returning VERP/latency ratio to normokalemic values and also decreased the critical intervals. In conclusion, hyperkalemia exerted pro-arrhythmic effects by shortening APDs and VERPs. Hypercalcemia exerted anti-arrhythmic effects by reversing VERP changes, which scaled the VERP/latency ratio and critical intervals.


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action potential duration, hypercalcemia, hyperkalemia, ventricular arrhythmia

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Spandidos Publications
GT was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Xention Discovery for his Ph.D.