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Ventricular fibrillation in hibernators and nonhibernators



Ventricular fibrillation in hibernators and nonhibernators



Cryobiology 20(4): 407-420



There are differences between hibernators and nonhibernators in the susceptibility to ventricular fibrillation. In an attempt to clarify these differences ventricular fibrillation was induced in isolated hearts of the hibernator, the woodchuck, Marmota monax by cooling, warming, punctures and by norepinephrine administration. The hearts of the winter animals were completely resistant toward the ventricular fibrillation inducing agents, which was not the case for the hearts from summer, active animals. The hearts of another hibernator, the hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus and guinea pig, Cavia porcellus, were studied electrophysiologically in anesthetized animals with open chests and with bipolar electrodes attached to the epicardium. During pacing it was shown that the hedgehog had a higher stimulus threshold and a lower maximal following frequency than the guinea pig. The summer hedgehogs showed resistance toward both ventricular premature beats and ventricular fibrillation. Of the summer hedgehogs, 60% and 100% of the winter hedgehogs and guinea pigs developed ventricular fibrillation. The threshold for ventricular fibrillation was highest for summer hedgehogs. The effective refractory period of papillary muscle of summer hedgehogs was shorter than that of guinea pigs. The force frequency relationship of the isolated papillary muscle showed a greater degree of independence in the hedgehog than in the guinea pig. The heart of the hibernator is more arrhythmia resistant than the heart of the nonhibernator, although there are seasonal differences.

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Accession: 006900973

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 6617230

DOI: 10.1016/0011-2240(83)90031-7


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