Patients With Valvular Heart Disease Presenting With Sustained Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias or Syncope
Results of Programmed Ventricular Stimulation and Long-term Follow-up
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
Background Programmed ventricular stimulation is commonly used to guide therapy in post–myocardial infarction patients with sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF). In patients with valvular heart disease presenting with spontaneous VT, VF, or syncope, the usefulness of this technique is still unclear. The aim of the study was to analyze whether programmed ventricular stimulation was helpful in guiding therapy and determining prognosis in 97 patients with valvular heart disease presenting with VT (60%), VF (18%), or syncope (22%).
Methods and Results Patients were classified as having either predominant ventricular pressure or volume overload or no significant pressure or volume overload. Overall, sustained VT or VF was inducible in 38 (39%) and 19 (20%) patients, respectively. Forty-six (47%) patients were discharged on antiarrhythmic drugs, 29 (30%) received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, and 22 (23%) remained without therapy. With serial drug testing, inducibility was completely or partially suppressed in 18 (19%) and 9 (9%) patients, respectively. During a mean follow-up of 51 months (n=97), 17 patients (18%) died (sudden death, n=7; heart failure, n=4; noncardiac causes, n=6). One-, 2- and 3-year event-free survival for sudden death, sustained VT, or VF was 77%, 68%, and 61%, respectively. Only inducibility of VT during baseline study (P<.0003) and left ventricular volume overload (P<.008) were significant predictors of arrhythmic events. Recurrence of arrhythmic events occurred in 56% and 56% of patients with complete or partial suppression of inducibility during serial drug testing as well as in 10 of 19 (53%) patients without a change in inducibility.
Conclusions Although programmed ventricular stimulation seems to predict adverse outcome, serial drug testing is unreliable in guiding therapy. The type of workload imposed on the ventricles influences outcome, being worse in patients with left ventricular volume overload. Therefore, implantation of a cardioverter-defibrillator should be considered early for the management of these patients.
- Received September 30, 1996.
- Revision received February 7, 1997.
- Accepted February 11, 1997.
- Copyright © 1997 by American Heart Association