Late hospital phase ventricular arrhythmias in acute myocardial infarction (MI) have been associated with a high incidence of sudden death following hospital discharge. Thirty-eight patients were studied 10-24 days following onset of symptoms of MI. Each patient had a 24-hour ambulatory ECG tape recording and left ventricular and coronary angiography performed. Patients with complicated ventricular arrhythmias (multiform, coupled, R and T VPCs or ventricular tachycardia), when compared to those with uncomplicated ventricular arrhythmias (unifocal or no VPCs), had a greater number of proximally narrowed major coronary arteries (P<0.001), a higher coronary 'score' (P<0.001), a greater incidence of previous myocardial infarction (P<0.005), a greater percentage of abnormal left ventricular segments 86% vs 69% (P<0.001) and lower ejection fractions. These data suggest that late hospital phase survivors of MI with complicated ventricular arrhythmias have more extensive coronary artery disease with greater left ventricular dysfunction than survivors with uncomplicated ventricular arrhythmias. This more extensive disease may result in increased areas of ischemic myocardium and may help explain the refractoriness of these arrhythmias to pharmacologic therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)