The effectiveness of antiarrhythmic agents on early-cycle premature ventricular complexes.
Twelve patients completed a double-blind, crossover antiarrhythmic drug trial in which 300 mg of quinidine, 500 mg of procainamide, 100 mg of phenytoin, or placebo was given four times daily on subsequent weeks. Analysis of 24-hour Holter tapes with a computerized analysis system (Argus/H) permitted accurate counting of premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) subclassified according to coupling interval. No antiarrhythmic agent demonstrated a significant overall reduction in the number of PVCs, but both quinidine and procainamide showed a statistically significant (p less than 0.05) reduction of PVCs with coupling intervals less than 400 msec. This effect was noted both in isolated PVCs (quinidine only) and in PVCs that were part of a couplet or run (both drugs). These findings demonstrate that clinically important effects of procainamide and quinidine can occur in the absence of an overall reduction in the number of PVCs.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association