Author + information
- Received October 9, 1985
- Revision received April 30, 1986
- Accepted May 9, 1986
- Published online October 1, 1986.
- ↵*Address for reprints: Gerhard Steinbeck, MD, Klinikum Grosshadern, P.O. Box 701260, Munich 70, West Germany.
Programmed ventricular stimulation and ambulatory electrocardiography were performed both before and during oral Sotalol therapy in 39 patients with ventricular tachyarrhythmia inducible by programmed stimulation (sustained ventricular tachycardia [n = 31], ventricular fibrillation [n = 3], nonsustained ventricular tachycardia [n = 5]). Oral Sotalol was started at 80 mg twice daily and the dose thereafter was then gradually increased until a mean daily dose of 300 mg (range 160–480) was reached. In 12 of 34 patients with inducible sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation the arrhythmia was suppressed; in 19 patients it was not and in 3 the spontaneous arrhythmia recurred. Reproducibly inducible nonsustained ventricular tachycardia was suppressed by Sotalol in all five patients with this arrhythmia. Thus, a favorable electrophysiologic response was obtained in 17 (44%) of 39 patients.
Arrhythmia suppression correlated with the type of arrhythmia (unsustained or sustained) induced during the control period (p < 0.05), and nonresponders had a higher incidence of previously ineffective drug trials (p < 0.05). In 22 patients treated long term with Sotalol suppression of arrhythmia inducibility on programmed stimulation predicted freedom from recurrences (16 of 17), whereas continued inducibility indicated drug failure (5 of 5) (p < 0.005). Serial ambulatory electrocardiograms performed in 37 of the 39 patients did not correlate with the results of electrophysiologic testing. For the patients on long-term treatment, invasive testing was superior to electrocardiographic monitoring in predicting outcome. These data indicate that in daily doses of 160 to 480 mg 1) oral Sotalol is a very useful agent in patients presenting with sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, and 2) its efficacy is fairly well predicted by programmed stimulation.
- Received October 9, 1985.
- Revision received April 30, 1986.
- Accepted May 9, 1986.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation