Electrophysiology of the hypothermic heart
Torres, Joseph Charles
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In the past decade, hypothermia has been extensively investigated as a means of reducing oxygen requirements of the body sufficiently to allow exclusion of the heart from the circulation and so permit intracardiac surgery under direct vision. Because of its ability to reduce metabolism, it has suggested itself as a potentially valuable technique not only in a variety of clinical conditions but as an investigative tool for the elucidation of normal bodily functions. One of the inevitable consequences of inducing hypothermia in mammals is the increased irritability or electrical instability displayed by the myocardium, culminating in the terminal event, ventricular fibrillation. The purpose of the present experimental study: to attempt a quantitative evaluation of the nature and magnitude of change provoked by hypothermia in the fundamental cardiac parameters of rhythmicity, conduction, refractoriness and excitability as well as the processes of depolarization and repolarization, with a view to determining, if possible, the electrophysiological basis for the increased susceptibility to cardiac arrhythmias [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.