Results and efficiency of programmed ventricular stimulation with four extrastimuli compared with one, two, and three extrastimuli.
BACKGROUND Conventional programmed ventricular stimulation protocols are inefficient compared with more recently proposed protocols. The purpose of the present study was to determine if additional efficiency could be derived from a 6-step programmed ventricular stimulation protocol that exclusively uses four extrastimuli.
METHODS AND RESULTS The subjects were 209 consecutive patients with coronary artery disease and documented sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, aborted sudden death, or syncope. These patients underwent 159 electrophysiological tests in the absence of antiarrhythmic drug therapy and 105 electrophysiological tests in the presence of antiarrhythmic therapy. Programmed stimulation was performed with two protocols in random order in each patient. Both protocols used an eight-beat drive train, 4-s intertrain pause, and basic drive cycle lengths of 350, 400, and 600 ms. The 6-step protocol started with coupling intervals of 290, 280, 270, and 260 ms, which were shortened simultaneously in 10-ms steps until S2 was refractory. The 18-step protocol used one, two and three extrastimuli in conventional sequential fashion. The end points were 30 s of sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, two episodes of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia requiring cardioversion, or completion of the protocol at two right ventricular sites. There was no significant difference in the yield of sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia using the two protocols, regardless of the clinical presentation or treatment with antiarrhythmic drugs. Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia occurred with the 18-step protocol twice as frequently as with the 6-step protocol (6% versus 3%, P < .001). The duration of the 18-step protocol was significantly longer than that of the 6-step protocol in patients with inducible ventricular tachycardia (5.5 +/- 7 versus 2.3 +/- 2 minutes, P < .001), as well as in patients without inducible ventricular tachycardia (25.4 +/- 7 versus 6.9 +/- 2 minutes, P < .001).
CONCLUSION A stimulation protocol that exclusively uses four extrastimuli improves the specificity and efficiency of programmed ventricular stimulation without compromising the yield of monomorphic ventricular tachycardia in patients with coronary artery disease.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association