The ability of Holter monitoring to predict clinical events during amiodarone therapy was evaluated in 83 patients with coronary artery disease and inducible monomorphic ventricular tachycardia. Sixty-four patients (77%) had significant ventricular ectopy activity (≥10 ventricular premature complexes [VPCs]/hour) at baseline, and 19 (23%) did not; patients were similar in age (63 and 65 years, respectively; p = 0.24) and ejection fraction (31 and 32%, respectively; p = 0.75). Over a mean of 23 ± 17 months, there was no difference in arrhythmia recurrence (33 and 26%; p = 0.89) or sudden death (16 and 20%; p = 0.94) in patients with and without significant ectopy, respectively. In patients with significant ectopy, amiodarone decreased VPC frequency from baseline to 2 weeks, but not from 2 to 6 weeks. Forty-two patients had >85% reduction in ectopy at 2 weeks; 20 patients did not. However, this reduction of simple VPCs did not predict a decrease in arrhythmic recurrence (29 vs 40%; p = 0.59) nor sudden death (25 vs 11%; p = 0.56) in patients with and without VPC suppression, respectively. Forty-five patients had Holter monitoring at 6 weeks. Twenty-one patients (47%) had >95% suppression of ectopy, and 24 did not. Neither the recurrence (38 vs 38%; p = 0.54) nor sudden death (33 vs 13%; p = 0.45) rate was predicted by the degree of VPC suppression. Amiodarone is a powerful suppressant of VPCs, but Holter suppression of this ectopic activity is not predictive of clinical outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine