Antiarrhythmic efficacy, clinical electrophysiology, and pharmacokinetics of 3-methoxy-O-desmethyl encainide (MODE) in patients with inducible ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation.
In most patients, the clinical effects of therapy with encainide are mediated by the generation of the active metabolites O-desmethyl encainide and 3-methoxy-O-desmethyl encainide (MODE). Data from in vitro and animal studies have indicated that MODE has electrophysiologic and pharmacokinetic features that make its further evaluation desirable; in earlier studies, we found that MODE suppressed chronic high-frequency nonsustained ventricular arrhythmias at plasma concentrations of 50-160 ng/ml. We now report the clinical electrophysiology, antiarrhythmic activity, and pharmacokinetics of MODE in 17 patients with inducible ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VTs) in whom programmed electrical stimulation was performed before drug administration and after one or two sequences of loading and maintenance infusions of MODE. Because the relation between plasma concentration and effect had been incompletely defined, a dose-titration approach was adopted: available pharmacokinetic data were used to construct loading and maintenance infusion regimens that were predicted to attain low plasma concentrations in initial patients while higher infusion rates were evaluated in subsequent patients. MODE prevented VT induction in three of 17 patients and VT cycle length was increased by greater than or equal to 100 msec in a further seven of 17; most responses to MODE occurred at plasma concentrations greater than 556 ng/ml (greater than 1 SD above mean plasma MODE during encainide therapy). Response to MODE did not predict subsequent response to oral therapy with encainide. MODE increased intracardiac conduction times, QT intervals during atrial and ventricular pacing, and right ventricular effective refractory periods (RVERP); changes in RVERP were most prominent at rapid pacing rates, while changes in intracardiac conduction were rate-independent at cycle lengths between 400 and 600 msec. Plasma MODE concentrations measured during electrophysiology study correlated well with those predicted by the pharmacokinetic simulations (r = 0.91, p less than 0.001). Serial plasma sampling after programmed electrical stimulation indicated a minimum MODE elimination half-life of 8.2 +/- 5.4 hours. Side effects were confined to three instances of asymptomatic conduction system depression in subjects with latent conduction system disturbances. We conclude that MODE slows intracardiac conduction, delays repolarization, and can suppress or substantially modify inducible VT. Moreover, it was only with the adoption of the dose-titration strategy that we were able to safely demonstrate that plasma MODE concentrations higher than those routinely observed during encainide therapy were required to substantially alter cardiac electrophysiology.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association