The ESVEM Trial evaluated methods to guide antiarrhythmic drug use in patients with spontaneous, inducible sustained tachyarrhythmias at electrophysiologic testing and frequent ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) per hour (≥10). We assessed the relation between location (in- hospital or out-of-hospital) and classification of death (arrhythmic, nonarrhythmic, cardiac and/or noncardiac) for 486 randomized patients. Deaths were classified as out-of-hospital arrhythmic deaths if arrhythmic death occurred out-of-hospital, or if an arrhythmia preceded hospital admission and directly caused death. Of the 486 randomized patients, 188 (39%) died during 6 years of follow-up. The location and type of death could be determined clearly in 171 patients (91%). Ninety-one deaths were in-hospital (53%); 80 were out-of-hospital (47%). Arrhythmic deaths occurred in 85% out-of-hospital patients and in 30% in-hospital patients (p<0.001). Baseline characteristics were comparable for patients with out-of-hospital and in-hospital arrhythmic deaths. Twenty-seven of 95 arrhythmic deaths occurred in-hospital (28%); 72% occurred out-of-hospital. Out-of-hospital arrhythmic death accounted for 40% of deaths for which location and type of information were available. The 1- and 4-year actuarial out-of-hospital arrhythmic death rates were 9% and 18%, respectively. Of nonarrhythmic cardiac deaths, 91% were in-hospital and 9% were out-of-hospital. Of noncardiac deaths, 74% were in-hospital and 26% were out-of-hospital. Similar results were seen in the 296 patients for whom a drug was considered to be effective. Thus, over half the deaths in the ESVEM trial occurred in-hospital. The long-term actuarial risk of out-of-hospital arrhythmic death in ESVEM was unexpectedly low. (C) 2000 by Excerpta Medica, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine