Date of Award



Biomedical and General Engineering


Robert Crockett



The canine cardiac system has been the model against which many Class III cardiac devices are validated. Thus, it is expected that the canine heart has very similar electrical model to that found in humans. In 1999, the absence of Heart Rate Turbulence (HRT) after a single Pre-Ventricular Contraction (PVC) was linked to high-risk patient after acute myocardial infarction. Studies of HRT were performed on high-risk patients with Holter-Monitors as were most subsequent HRT studies. If HRT could potentially be used as a risk factor of heart disease, it is interesting to study whether HRT is present following a PVC in otherwise healthy canines.


For multiple months, five non-medicated, healthy canines were chronically monitored from between 1 and 8 sessions each. At each session, the canines were ventricularly paced to induce PVCs. Electrical signals, as seen through both a right-ventricular lead and Electrocardiogram (ECG) signals, were captured and analyzed to determine whether the canines displayed HRT following each induced PVC. As a contrasting data set, for the majority of the canines, data was also collected once the canines were sedated.

Results HRT was noted in all non-medicated and healthy canines. Of the two factors of HRT (slope and onset), TS was the most prominent indicator of HRT. In each canine, the slope was far greater than the 2.5 ms per RR interval threshold varying from 9.8 to 68.8 ms per RR interval. The onset was marked as HRT (onset less than 0%) in 22 of the 26 session. Additional data was analyzed for healthy yet medicated canines showed that sedation affected HRT, but that HRT was generally noted.


The canine model displayed a similar HRT characteristic as humans during normal and parasympathetic inhibited states. The presence of HRT in canines is most reliable when using TS. Further study in this area with naturally occurring PVCs would be of interest.