Idiopathic ventricular fibrillation: inducibility and beneficial effects of class I antiarrhythmic agents.
Ventricular fibrillation in patients without recognizable heart disease is uncommon and electrophysiologic data on such patients is limited. Over a 7 year period, five patients (three men and two women, ranging in age from 24 to 52 years) without demonstrable heart disease underwent electrophysiologic studies with pharmacologic drug testing because of single (four patients) or multiple (one patient) documented episodes of ventricular fibrillation. The arrhythmic event was unrelated to myocardial ischemia or infarction, metabolic or electrolyte disturbances, drug toxicity, preexcitation, or prolonged QT syndromes. In all three patients receiving no antiarrhythmic drugs and in two pretreated with amiodarone, a rapid poorly tolerated ventricular tachyarrhythmia requiring cardioversion was induced by programmed ventricular stimulation with up to two extrastimuli. In all instances, addition of either oral quinidine or oral disopyramide prevented the induction of sustained ventricular arrhythmias. All five patients were placed on antiarrhythmic drug regimens found effective during electrophysiologic studies and remained asymptomatic during follow-up periods ranging from 12 to 93 (mean 52) months. We conclude that in the patients with idiopathic ventricular fibrillation in our study: programmed ventricular stimulation reliably replicated the spontaneous arrhythmia, class I antiarrhythmic agents effectively prevented induction of the arrhythmia in the laboratory, and in contrast to the severity of the presenting arrhythmia, a benign clinical course was observed during long-term therapy with class I antiarrhythmic agents.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association