Spontaneous variability of ventricular arrhythmias in patients at increased risk for sudden death after acute myocardial infarction: Consecutive ambulatory electrocardiographic recordings of 88 patients

Craig Pratt, Pierre Théroux, Don Slymen, Ann Riordan-Bennett, Doris Morisette, Amy Galloway, A. Allen Seals, Alfred Hallstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Cardiac Arrhythmia Pilot Study, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is a multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blind trial designed to identify patients having 10 or more ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) per hour within 6 to 60 days of acute myocardial infarction. The present investigation selected patients after acute myocardial infarction who had ambulatory electrocardiographic qualifying arrhythmia for CAPS. An additional baseline electrocardiogram was recorded before enrollment in the study to assess baseline spontaneous variability of VPCs. A total of 88 patients (15 women, 73 men, aged 57 ± 10 years) were studied. The 43 patients (49%) receiving β-blocking drugs were included because the dose was not altered between the 2 consecutive electrocardiographic recordings. This investigation shows that a 95% reduction in VPCs is required to document a significant drug effect rather than variability alone if 1 day of control and 1 day of treatment electrocardiographic recording are compared. Similarly, based on 1 day of electrocardiographic recording before and after antiarrhythmic therapy, a 1,780% increase in VPC frequency is required to establish "arrhythmia aggravation" from an antiarrhythmic drug rather than from variability alone based on a 95% confidence interval. Variability of ventricular arrhythmias is independent of left ventricular function, whereas patients taking β-blocking therapy tend to have greater VPC variability (p = 0.052), even though VPC frequencies were lower (59 ± 19 vs 138 ± 31 VPCs/hour, p < 0.006) than those not taking β-blocking drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Volume59
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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