• optical mapping;
  • ventricular tachycardia;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • arrhythmia;
  • action potential;
  • infarct border zone

Background: Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a common cause of mortality in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients, even in the current era of coronary revascularization treatment. We report a reproducible VT model in rats with chronic MI induced by ischemia-reperfusion and describe its electrophysiological characteristics using high-resolution optical mapping.

Methods: An MI was generated by left anterior descending coronary ligation (25 minutes) followed by reperfusion in 20 rats. Electrophysiology study and optical mapping were performed 5 weeks later using a Langendorff-perfused preparation and compared to normal rats.

Results: The conduction velocity of the MI border zone was decreased to 53% of the normal areas remote from the infarct (0.37 ± 0.16 m/sec vs 0.70 ± 0.09 m/sec, P < 0.0001). The rate of VT inducibility in MI rats was significantly greater than in normal control rats (70% vs 0%, P = 0.00002). VT circuits involving the infarct area were identified with optical mapping in 83% MI rats. In addition, fixed and functional conduction block were observed in the infarct border zone.

Conclusion: This ischemia-reperfusion MI rat model is a reliable VT model, which simulates clinical revascularization treatment. High-resolution optical mapping in this model is useful to study the mechanism of VT and evaluate the effects of therapies. (PACE 2010; 33:687–695)