To assess the potential for ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular extrastimulus testing was performed in 33 young patients with complex ventricular ectopic activity defined as multiform ventricular premature complexes (VPCs), couplets or nonsustained VT, or a combination, found during electrocardiographic monitoring. There were 21 male and 12 female patients with a mean age of 11 years (range 1 to 18). Patients were divided into 2 groups based on the presence (14 patients) or absence (19 patients) of syncope. Patients with syncope had ostensibly normal hearts (9 patients) or miscellaneous heart disease (5 patients). Patients without syncope had ostensibly normal hearts (8 patients) or miscellaneous heart disease (11 patients). Ventricular stimulation protocol consisted of burst pacing and 1 to 4 programmed extrastimuli decreasing to refractoriness at 3 drive-train cycle lengths, and at 2 pacing sites (right ventricular apex and outflow tract) during the drug-free baseline state and isoproterenol infusion. No patient had VT induced with 1 or 2 extrastimuli. VT was induced in 13 of 14 patients (93%) with syncope, and in 9 of 19 patients (47%) without syncope (p < 0.05). Using a 3-extrastimuli protocol, 8 of 14 patients (57%) with and 3 of 19 patients (16%) without syncope had VT induced (p < 0.05). These findings suggest that VT may be the cause of syncope in young patients with complex ventricular ectopic activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine