Definition of Predicted Effective Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy for Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias by the Electrophysiologic Study Approach: Randomized Comparison of Patient Response Criteria
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OBJECTIVES: We sought to compare efficacies of therapy for ventricular tachyarrhythmias selected by programmed stimulation using two different patient response efficacy criteria: <5 versus <16 repetitive ventricular responses. BACKGROUND: Therapy selection for ventricular tachyarrhythmias by programmed stimulation requires definition of a patient response that predicts long-term efficacy. Such definitions have not been previously compared prospectively. METHODS: Patients with sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias were randomized to therapy selection using either the <5 or <16 repetitive response criterion of predicted effective therapy. The primary end point was sudden death or recurrence of ventricular tachyarrhythmia requiring intervention. RESULTS: Predicted effective drug therapy was found for 23 (34%) of 68 patients randomized to the <5 criterion and 29 (36%) of 81 patients randomized to the <16 criterion (p = NS). Definition of therapy required 3.0 +/- 1.6 drug trials (mean +/- SD) in patients randomized to the <5 criterion and 2.9 +/- 1.8 trials in patients randomized to the <16 criterion (p = NS). Patients randomized to the <5 criterion had a lower 2-year probability of the primary end point (0.20 +/- 0.05) than did patients randomized to the <16 criterion (0.33 +/- 0.05, one-tailed p = 0.004). The advantage of the <5 criterion was also seen in subgroup analyses involving patients with and without an initial drug efficacy prediction. CONCLUSIONS: The programmed stimulation approach to the selection of antiarrhythmic therapy for ventricular tachyarrhythmias using a patient response criterion of <5 repetitive ventricular responses results in a lower probability of recurrence of ventricular tachyarrhythmia than does use of a <16 repetitive response criterion.
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