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Biomarker Periodic Repolarization Dynamics Indicates Enhanced Risk for Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death in Myocardial Infarction in Pigs.

BACKGROUND: Periodic repolarization dynamics (PRD) is an electrocardiographic biomarker that captures repolarization instability in the low frequency spectrum and is believed to estimate the sympathetic effect on the ventricular myocardium. High PRD indicates an increased risk for postischemic sudden cardiac death (SCD). However, a direct link between PRD and proarrhythmogenic autonomic remodeling has not yet been shown.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We investigated autonomic remodeling in pigs with myocardial infarction (MI)-related ischemic heart failure induced by balloon occlusion of the left anterior descending artery (n=17) compared with pigs without MI (n=11). Thirty days after MI, pigs demonstrated enhanced sympathetic innervation in the infarct area, border zone, and remote left ventricle paralleled by altered expression of autonomic marker genes/proteins. PRD was enhanced 30 days after MI compared with baseline (pre-MI versus post-MI: 1.75±0.30 deg2 versus 3.29±0.79 deg2 , P <0.05) reflecting pronounced autonomic alterations on the level of the ventricular myocardium. Pigs with MI-related ventricular fibrillation and SCD had significantly higher pre-MI PRD than pigs without tachyarrhythmias, suggesting a potential role for PRD as a predictive biomarker for ischemia-related arrhythmias (no ventricular fibrillation versus ventricular fibrillation: 1.50±0.39 deg2 versus 3.18±0.53 deg2 [ P <0.05]; no SCD versus SCD: 1.67±0.32 deg2 versus 3.91±0.63 deg2 [ P <0.01]).

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that ischemic heart failure leads to significant proarrhythmogenic autonomic remodeling. The concomitant elevation of PRD levels in pigs with ischemic heart failure and pigs with MI-related ventricular fibrillation/SCD suggests PRD as a biomarker for autonomic remodeling and as a potential predictive biomarker for ventricular arrhythmias/survival in the context of MI.

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