Observations on patients with primary ventricular fibrillation complicating acute myocardial infarction.
In order to evaluate the events preceding primary ventricular fibrillation (PVF), continuous tape recording was performed in 262 patients consecutively admitted to the hospital within six hours of infarction in whom antiarrhythmic therapy was withheld. Warning arrhythmias (defined as ventricular ectopic beats occurring with a frequency of more than five beats per minute, in runs, falling in the vulnerable phase of the cardiac cycle or being multiformed) were registered in an equal percentage in patients who did or did not develop PVF. Immediately prior to PVF seven patients showed sinus tachycardia, 10 a sinus rate ranging from 60 to 100 beats per minute and two bradycardia due to complete atrioventricular block. The ventricular ectopic beat initiating PVF had a late coupling interval (QR'/QT larger than or equal to 0.85) in 11 patients and a left bundle branch block configuration as frequent as a right bundle branch block. Conclusions: 1) Warning arrhythmias are not considered good criteria for institution of antiarrhythmic therapy in order to prevent PVF. 2) In patients with sinus rhythm there may be an association between heart rate and onset of PVF. 3) The malignancy of a ventricular ectopic beat is not determined by its coupling interval or its configuration.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association