Disturbances in the propagation of the slow wave during acute local ischaemia in the feline small intestine

Wim J.E.P. Lammers, Ahmed El-Kays, Geoff W. Manefield, Kholoud Arafat, Taher Y. El-Sharkawy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objective and design: The normal aborad propagation of the slow wave in the small intestine is easily distorted by pacing, hypoxia or transection. We studied whether acute local ischaemia would also induce serious conduction disturbances and ectopic pacemaking. Methods: After general anaesthesia and a mid-abdominal incision, a multi-electrode array of 240 extracellular electrodes was positioned on the serosal surface of an exteriorized intestinal loop. Simultaneous recordings of all 240 surface electrodes was performed during a control period and for 5-10 min following local acute arterial occlusion. After the experiments, activation maps were constructed describing the pattern of propagation of the slow waves. Results: During control periods, the activation maps showed homogeneous aborad conduction of the slow wave. During acute ischaemia, local areas of inexcitability developed rapidly, merging together to form lines of conduction block. This in turn often provoked the appearance of subsidiary ectopic pacemakers. The location of the conduction blocks as well as that of ectopic pacemakers was highly variable and could disappear and reappear at other sites. Conclusion: Within minutes, acute ischaemia disturbed the organized homogeneous aborad propagation of the slow wave leading to pronounced inhomogeneous depression of conduction, local inexcitability, conduction block and the appearance of subsidiary pacemakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Arrhythmia
  • Conduction block
  • Dysrhythmias
  • Ectopic pacemakers
  • Ischaemia
  • Slow wave
  • Small intestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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