Objectives. The purpose of this prospective randomized study was to compare the electrophysiologic effects of conventional and high dose loading regimens of amiodarone in patients with sustained ventricular tachycardia. Background. Uncontrolled studies in which patients have been treated with an oral loading dose of 2 to 4 g/day of amiodarone have suggested that, compared with a conventional loading dose, this dosing regimen results in more rapid control of spontaneous ventricular tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia induced by programmed stimulation. Methods. Patients in whom sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia was inducible by programmed stimulation and who were refractory to class I antiarrhythmic medications were randomly assigned to receive either a conventional (n = 15) or a high (n = 17) loading dose of amiodarone. The conventional dose consisted of 600 mg twice a day for 10 days. The high dose regimen consisted of 50 mg/kg body weight per day on days 1 to 3, 30 mg/kg per day on days 4 and 5 and 600 mg twice a day on days 6 to 10. An electrophysiologic test was performed in the baseline state and after 3 and 10 days of therapy. An adequate response to amiodarone was defined as the inability to induce ventricular tachycardia or the ability to induce only relatively slow (cycle length 5 ≥ 350 ms) hemodynamically stable ventricular tachycardia. Results. After 3 days of therapy, 2 of 14 patients who received the conventional loading dose and 6 of 15 patients who received the high dose loading regimen had an adequate response to amiodarone (p = 0.08). After 10 days of therapy, four patients in each group had an adequate response to amiodarone (p = NS). Three patients who received the high dose and one patient who received the conventional dose of amiodarone had an adequate response after 3 days of therapy but not after 10 days of therapy. There were significant increases in the sinus cycle length, atrioventricular block cycle length, ventricular effective refractory period and ventricular tachycardia cycle length after 3 and 10 days of therapy compared with baseline values regardless of the dosing regimen. The extent of the effects of amiodarone on these variables after 3 and 10 days of therapy was similar with both dosing regimens. Conclusions. The therapeutic and electrophysiologic effects of conventional and high dose loading regimens of amiodarone do not differ significantly after 3 or 10 days of therapy. High oral loading doses of amiodarone do not offer any significant clinical advantage over a conventional loading dose of amiodarone for controlling ventricular tachycardia induced by programmed stimulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine