New epicardial mapping electrode with warming/cooling function for experimental electrophysiology studies

Autores UPV
Revista Medical Engineering & Physics


Cardiac electrical activity is influenced by temperature. In experimental models, the induction of hypothermia and/or hyperthermia has been used for the study of mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmia. A system that allows for localized, controlled induction, besides simultaneously recording electrical activity in the same induced area, needs to be developed ad hoc. This article describes the construction and application of a new system capable of locally modifying the epicardial temperature of isolated hearts and of carrying out cardiac mapping with sufficient spatial resolution. The system is based on a thermoelectric refrigerator and an array of 128 stainless steel unipolar electrodes in encapsulated epoxy of good thermal conductivity. The surface of the electrode is shaped to match the ventricular curvature. The electrode-device was tested on 7 isolated perfused rabbit hearts following the Langendorff technique. Quality recordings were obtained for the left ventricle at temperatures of 37 °C, 22 °C and 42 °C. The effects of temperature were explored in relation to two electrophysiological parameters: the QT interval during sinus rhythm and the VV interval during ventricular fibrillation. The results indicate that this is a suitable method for creating and analyzing electrophysiological heterogeneities induced by temperature in the experimental model. © 2011 IPEM.