COMPLETE HEART-BLOCK IN FETAL LAMBS .1. TECHNIQUE AND ACUTE PHYSIOLOGICAL-RESPONSE JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY Crombleholme, T. M., Harrison, M. R., Longaker, M. T., Langer, J. C., Adzick, N. S., Bradley, S., Duncan, B., Verrier, E. D. 1990; 25 (6): 587-593


Prenatally diagnosed complete heart block (CHB), without associated cardiac anomalies, is often refractory to attempts to increase heart rate and cardiac output by medical therapy, and results in fetal death. We developed a model of CHB in fetal lambs in order to evaluate the acute physiological consequences of CHB and to assess the feasibility of fetal cardiac ventricular (V) and atrioventricular (AV) pacing. After hysterotomy and fetal sternotomy AV-sequential pacing leads were placed on the right atrium and ventricle (RV). Electromagnetic flow transducers were placed around the pulmonary artery and the ascending aorta to measure combined ventricular output (CVO) in normal sinus rhythm (NSR), CHB, AV, and V pacing. CHB block was successfully induced in 19 of 21 (90%) fetal lambs at 100 to 110 days' gestation by injection of formalin into the interventricular septum. Two fetuses were refractory to CHB despite multiple injections. The mean ventricular escape rate was 52 +/- 3 (+/- SEM) beats/min (range, 45 to 60 beats/min). CHB lasted for the period of study (1 to 8 hours), and spontaneously reverted to NSR in one fetus after 3 hours. Combined ventricular output in NSR was 470 +/- 31 mL/min (+/- SEM), which fell to 213 +/- 13 mL/min in CHB, 45% of normal CVO (P less than .0001). CVO during AV-sequential and V pacing was 77% (P = .02) and 62% (P less than .001), respectively, of combined ventricular output in NSR. Both RV (27%) and left ventricles (LV) (37%) showed compensatory increase in stroke volume during CHB.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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View details for PubMedID 2358988