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Vol. 65 (2001) No. 6 P 519-525



Clinical Investigation

There have been few clinical studies exploring the characteristics of spontaneous polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) during a vasospastic angina attack. During a 4-year recruitment period, Holter ECG recordings were monitored for 42±24 h during a drug-free period in 60 consecutive patients with vasospastic angina (VSA) and of these, 8 patients had at least one episode of polymorphic VT during monitoring. Ischemic ST segment elevation was immediately preceded the spontaneous polymorphic VT in all 8 patients, 4 of whom had silent coronary vasospasm. Immediately before the onset of polymorphic VT, both R-on-T and long - short sequences were observed in 4 of the 8 patients and ST wave alternans were recorded in 2 patients. VT exhibited a pattern of torsade de pointes in 4 of the 8 patients. Five patients underwent electrophysiologic testing during a drug-free asymptomatic phase, and polymorphic VT was induced in 2 of the 5 patients, with one developing ventricular fibrillation. During a follow-up period of 73±17 months, there was a significant difference in the incidence of sudden death between patients with and without VT (2/8 cases [25%] vs 0/52 [0%]; p<0.01). Thus, vasospastic attacks, even if asymptomatic, that immediately precede the development of polymorphic VT may be associated with a repolarization abnormality and an increased risk of sudden death. (Jpn Circ J 2001; 65: 519 - 525)


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