Tachyarrhythmias in Myocardial Infarction
Tachyarrhythmias occur in about one third of patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI), and may precipitate serious consequences when they arise. Mechanisms of arrhythmogenesis in MI are imperfectly understood, but five categories of factors contributing to ectopic tachycardias are discussed. These include metabolic, anatomic, autonomic, hemodynamic, and iatrogenic causes. Each of the atrial, junctional, and ventricular tachyarrhythmias is briefly considered, and therapy is outlined.
Prevention of tachyarrhythmias and prompt treatment when they occur have substantially reduced mortality in acute MI, and constitute a primary objective of coronary care. However, better understanding of mechanisms of arrhythmogenesis, better systems of automated monitoring, and better modes of therapy, especially antiarrhythmic drugs, are urgently needed.
- © 1972 American Heart Association, Inc.