Post-myocardial infarction mortality in patients with ventricular premature depolarizations. Canadian Amiodarone Myocardial Infarction Arrhythmia Trial Pilot Study.
BACKGROUND Among survivors of acute myocardial infarction, frequent and repetitive ventricular premature depolarizations (VPDs) detected on ambulatory monitoring contribute independently to the risk of all-cause mortality and sudden death. Apart from the beta-blockers, no antiarrhythmic drug has been reliably demonstrated to reduce mortality among patients with VPDs. A pilot study was undertaken to gather data to aid in the design of a multicenter trial of amiodarone for the reduction of mortality from cardiac arrhythmias in such patients.
METHODS AND RESULTS Seventy-seven patients with acute myocardial infarction within the previous 6-30 days and 10 or more VPDs/hr or one or more runs of ventricular tachycardia on 24-hour electrocardiographic recording were randomized in a double-blind fashion in a 2:1 amiodarone-to-placebo ratio. The loading dose was 10 mg/kg/day for 3 weeks. The maintenance dose was 300-400 mg/day with reductions at 4-month intervals in response to VPD suppression, excessive plasma levels, or toxicity. VPD suppression at 1 week and 2 weeks was 63% and 85%, respectively, on amiodarone and 17% and 27%, respectively, on placebo. Apart from thyroid-stimulating hormone elevation and skin reactions, no side effects occurred more frequently with amiodarone. The study drug was stopped for side effects or noncompliance in 35% of amiodarone patients and 34% of placebo patients. Patients were followed for a maximum of 2 years (mean, 20 months). Arrhythmic death or resuscitated ventricular fibrillation occurred in two of 48 amiodarone patients (6%) and four of 29 placebo patients (14%), whereas the rates of all-cause mortality were five of 48 (10%) and six of 29 (21%), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS Amiodarone, in moderate loading and maintenance dosages with adjustments in response to plasma levels, VPD suppression, and side effects, results in effective VPD suppression and acceptable levels of toxicity.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association