• Open Access

Morphology of Ventricular Arrhythmias in the Boxer as Measured by 12-Lead Electrocardiography with Pace-Mapping Comparison


Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; e-mail: msk16@cornell.edu.


The QRS amplitude and polarity were determined in 12-lead electrocardiograms recorded from 22 Boxers with ventricular arrhythmias. Eighty-one percent (18/22) of dogs displayed a positive QRS morphology in the caudoventral leads (II, III, and aVF) and 77% (17/22) of dogs displayed a positive QRS morphology in the left precordial leads (V2-V6). In leads I and V1, the polarity of the QRS complex was variable (positive or negative). To determine if these morphologic features were suggestive of ventricular complexes arising from the right or left ventricle, a comparison was made to the QRS complexes in a pace-mapping study performed in 7 healthy mixed-breed dogs. A total of 3 right and 4 left ventricular sites were paced. None of the left ventricular paced sites resulted in a QRS morphology similar to the most common spontaneous ventricular arrhythmia in the Boxers. In contrast, QRS morphology in each of the 3 right ventricular sites was similar to that observed in the Boxers (P < .033). Each of these produced positive deflections in the caudoventral and left precordial leads, but both positive and negative QRS complexes were observed in leads I and V1 only when the right ventricular septum was paced. This finding suggested that the right ventricular septum might be a site of origin for the ventricular rhythm observed in the Boxers because in the Boxers the polarity of leads I and V1 also varied. Pacing the right ventricular outflow tract always resulted in a negative QRS complex in lead I, whereas pacing the right ventricular apex always resulted in a positive QRS complex in lead I and a negative QRS complex in V1. However, these locations cannot be excluded as possible sites of origin for the spontaneous ventricular arrhythmias in the Boxers because the arrhythmias could be originating from both of these locations. The spontaneous ventricular arrhythmia of the Boxer is most similar to that of paced ventricular rhythms arising from the right ventricle. More precise localization to a region of the right ventricle such as outflow tract, septal, or apical could not be made.