Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
ISSN-L : 1346-9843
Clinical Investigation
Different Predictive Values of Electrophysiological Testing and Autonomic Assessment in Patients Surviving a Sustained Arrhythmic Episode
Grzegorz RaczakGian Domenico PinnaRoberto MaestriLudmila Danilowicz-SzymanowiczMalgorzta SzwochAndrzej LubinskiMaciej KempaMaria Teresa La RovereGrazyna Swiatecka
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2004 Volume 68 Issue 7 Pages 634-638


Background Recent data suggest that the electrophysiological study (EPS) has limited value in the identification of high risk patients, so the aim of the present study was to evaluate if non-invasive measurement of baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), a marker of autonomic balance, provides additional prognostic information in patients surviving a sustained arrhythmic episode. Methods and Results The study group comprised 112 post myocardial infarction patients consecutively referred for EPS following documented ventricular fibrillation (VF) (20), sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) (74) or a syncopal episode with subsequently documented non-sustained VT at Holter monitoring (18). BRS was assessed according to the transfer function method. A cardioverter - defibrillator (ICD) was implanted in 97 patients. During follow-up (median 315 days), appropriate ICD discharge occurred in 53 patients, and 3 more patients died suddenly. Sustained VT was induced in 84% and 77% of patients who did or did not develop arrhythmia at follow-up (p=0.34). No differences were found in age, sex, infarct site, drug therapy, resting RR interval or cycle of induced VT. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤35%, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class >2 and BRS ≤3.3 ms/mmHg were found to be univariate predictors of arrhythmia recurrence. Multivariate models were obtained after grouping patients according to a moderately or severely depressed LVEF. Among the patients with LVEF ≤35%, BRS ≤3.3 ms/mmHg emerged as the only significant risk predictor of arrhythmia occurrence (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value = 79%, 74%, 83% and 68%, respectively), whereas NYHA class >2 was a significant predictor among patients with LVEF >35%. Conclusions Noninvasive BRS, but not EPS, is of value in predicting VT/VF episode recurrence in patients surviving a major arrhythmic event. (Circ J 2004; 68: 634 - 638)

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