Acta biologica et medica Germanica. vol:40 issue:6 pages:821-9
Repetitive activity of the isolated rabbit atrium was induced by trains of premature stimuli. Analyzing the interval-histograms of the recorded atrial action potentials a quantitative description of this arrhythmia is demonstrated. An atrial flutter or fibrillation is evoked 110 to 140 ms after a regular driving pulse. Vagal stimulation increases the electrical vulnerability. The degree of arrhythmia was found to be dependent on the frequency of stimulation. During increased vagal activity premature stimuli applied 40 to 190 ms after a regular driving pulse generate arrhythmias. By vagal stimulation a preexisting arrhythmia is converted into an atrial fibrillation. In spite of a constant pacing, the atrial arrhythmia disappears at atrial masses of below 55 mg if initiated by early coupled beats. During an application of acetylcholine this critical mass is reduced.