Author + information
- Received August 20, 1985
- Revision received December 11, 1985
- Accepted December 26, 1985
- Published online May 1, 1986.
- Klaus-Peter Kunze, MD,
- Karl-Heinz Kuck, MDa,
- Michael Schlüter, PhD and
- Walter Bleifeld, MD, FACC
- ↵aAddress for reprints: Karl-Heinz Kuck, MD, Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, D-2000 Hamburg 20, West Germany.
In the treatment of chronic ectopic atrial tachycardia, standard antiarrhythmic therapy has been shown to be ineffective in the majority of patients. The intravenous and oral effects of two class IC antiarrhythmic drugs, encainide and flecainide, in five patients with chronic ectopic atrial tachycardia were studied using exercise testing, 24 hour long-term electrocardiography and programmed electrical stimulation. All patients had been treated unsuccessfully with at least four antiarrhythmic drugs. In two patients tachycardia was persistent, and in three patients tachycardia occurred intermittently for more than 12 hours/day.
Intravenous encainide and flecainide at doses ranging from 0.3 to 2.0 mg/kg and from 0.5 to 1.5 mg/kg body weight, respectively, terminated atrial ectopic tachycardia in all patients. Oral encainide, 150 to 225 mg/day, completely suppressed ectopic atrial activity in four patients during a mean follow-up period of 8 ± 3 months. In the remaining patient encainide markedly reduced the number of episodes of tachycardia. In three patients encainide had to be withdrawn because of intolerable side effects. These patients were well controlled with oral flecainide, 200 to 300 mg/day, without side effects.
On the basis of these results, the efficacy of encainide and flecainide in the treatment of chronic ectopic atrial tachycardia appears to be not drug-specific but rather a general class IC property.
This work was supported by a grant from the Werner Otto-Stiftung, Hamburg.
- Received August 20, 1985.
- Revision received December 11, 1985.
- Accepted December 26, 1985.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation