Circadian variation of sustained ventricular tachycardia in patients with coronary artery disease and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators.
BACKGROUND While previous studies using epidemiological data and ambulatory ECG monitoring have shown peak occurrence of sudden death and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia in the morning, none have examined circadian variation of potentially life-threatening ventricular tachycardia (VT), nor has any study observed circadian behavior of any arrhythmias in individuals followed longitudinally. We used the event memory of multiprogrammable implantable cardioverter-defibrillators to evaluate the circadian pattern of sustained VT over time.
METHODS AND RESULTS Data were reviewed from 32 consecutive patients with coronary artery disease and sustained VT who had received the Ventak PRX (CPI, Inc) cardioverter-defibrillator between May 1991 and August 1993 and had experienced at least one episode of VT terminated by their device. Mean follow-up was 14 +/- 7 months. Among the 2558 episodes recorded by the device logs, VT occurrence peaked between 6 AM and noon (P = .007 by ANOVA among four 6-hour time periods). Harmonic regression revealed a morning peak at 9 AM (P < .01). This morning peak occurred in patients with both frequent and infrequent events. Among 21 patients who experienced more than four VT events, 8 (38%) had an AM peak of VT occurrence (> 35% of VT between 6 AM and noon). Neither age, ejection fraction, event frequency, presenting arrhythmia, nor drug therapy distinguished patients who displayed the AM VT peak.
CONCLUSIONS In patients with coronary artery disease, sustained VT displays circadian variation with peak frequency in the morning, similar to that for sudden death. Individual patients who display specific patterns of circadian variation over time can be identified using defibrillator logs. Investigation of circadian variation of other phenomena to elucidate mechanisms of VT should focus on these patients.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association