Author + information
- Received October 8, 1990
- Revision received December 17, 1990
- Accepted January 25, 1991
- Published online July 1, 1991.
- James W. Leitch, MBBS*,1,
- Anne M. Gillis, MD1,2,
- D. George Wyse, MD, PhD, FACC1,2,
- Raymond Yee, MD, FACC1,
- George J. Klein, MD, FACC1,4,
- Gerard Guiraudon, MD1,
- Robert S. Sheldon, MD1,3,
- Henry J. Duff, MD1,
- Teresa M. Kieser, MD1 and
- L. Brent Mitchell, MD1
- ↵*Address for reprints: Dr. James Leitch, Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, PO Box 5339, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5A5.
Implantable defibrillators reduce the risk of sudden death in patients with malignant ventricular arrhythmias, but significant restriction in quality of life can occur as a result of frequent device activation. To determine if a device that provides both antitachy-cardia pacing and shock therapy can safely reduce the frequency of shocks after implantation, 46 consecutive patients undergoing initial implantation of a defibrillator were studied. In all patients, the implanted device provided antitachycardia pacing and shock therapy. Detected tachycardia characteristics and the results of therapy were stored in the device's memory.
There were 42 men and 4 women, aged 26 to 71 years (mean 58.7 ± 13.5). Left ventricular ejection fraction ranged from 13% to 67% (mean 32.2 ± 13.4%) and 31 patients had experienced one or more episodes of cardiac arrest. Induced arrhythmias included sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia in 38 patients, nonsustained polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in 2 and ventricular fibrillation in 4.
Over a total follow-up period of 255 patient-months (range 1 to 13, mean 6.1), 25 patients experienced spontaneous arrhythmic events. In 22 patients, 909 episodes of tachycardia were treated by antitachycardia pacing, which was successful on 840 occasions (92.4%). Acceleration of ventricular tachycardia by pacing therapy was estimated to have occurred 39 times. Syncope occurred once during pacing-induced acceleration of ventricular tachycardia. Forty-four episodes of tachycardia in seven patients were treated directly by shocks because of short tachycardia cycle length; 88% of all detected tachycardias were treated without the need for shocks. Four patients died from cardiorespiratory failure and one patient died suddenly without any detected tachyarrhythmia.
These initial results demonstrate that a device that provides graded therapy with antitachycardia pacing for ventricular arrhythmias reduces the need for high energy shocks and rarely results in detrimental delays in the treatment of ventricular tachycardia.
- Received October 8, 1990.
- Revision received December 17, 1990.
- Accepted January 25, 1991.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation