To evaluate the significance of ventricular tachycardia (VT) in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC), 35 consecutive patients seen between 1976 and 1980 were studied. The criteria for diagnosis of IDC were based on clinical, laboratory, and cardiac catheterization findings. All patients had right and left heart catheterization, left ventriculography, and coronary cineangiography. Long-term ambulatory electrocardiograms (Holter) were obtained in all patients at the time of diagnosis. There were 24 male and 11 female patients aged 22 to 72 years (mean ± standard deviation [SD] 51 ± 12). Frequent ventricular premature beats (VPB) (30/h) were observed in 29 patients (83%): complex VPB (Lown grades 3, 4, and 5) in 93% and simple VPB in 7%. Twenty-one patients (60%) had nonsustained VT consisting of 3 to 46 beats (8 ± 5) with rates from 75 to 210/min. No difference between patients with and those without VT was observed in regard to the presenting symptoms, functional classification, electrocardiographic findings, heart size on chest X-ray, and the hemodynamic measurements including cardiac index, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, and ejection fraction. Patients with VT were older (p <0.05). Follow-up observation from 4 to 74 months (34 ± 17) showed that 2 patients died suddenly (1 with and 1 without previous VT), a third patient died from intractable congestive heart failure, and the fourth from sepsis. It is concluded that (1) the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias in IDC is high, (2) VT is frequent and tends to occur in the nonsustained form, and (3) there is no correlation between VT and the clinical and hemodynamic findings. VT does not appear to predict prognosis during a relatively short follow-up period in patients with IDC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine