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Tex Heart Inst J. 1999;26(1):42-59.

Ventricular arrhythmias in congestive heart failure: clinical significance and management.

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  • 1The Department of Cardiology, Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston 77030, USA.


The benefit of defibrillator therapy has been well established for patients with LV dysfunction (ejection fraction less than 35%), coronary artery disease, NSVT, and inducible and nonsuppressible ventricular tachycardia. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy is also indicated for all CHF patients in NYHA functional classes I, II, and III who present with aborted sudden cardiac death, or ventricular fibrillation, or hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia--and also in patients with syncope with no documented ventricular tachycardia but with inducible ventricular tachycardia at electrophysiology study. The ongoing MADIT II trial was designed to evaluate the benefit of prophylactic ICD implantation in these patients (ejection fraction less than 30%, coronary artery disease, and NSVT) without prior risk stratification by PES. The CABG Patch trial concluded that prophylactic placement of an ICD during coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with low ejection fraction and abnormal SAECG is not justifiable. Except for the indications described above, ICD implantation has not been proved to be beneficial as primary or secondary therapy. Until more data are available, patients should be encouraged to enroll in the ongoing clinical trials.

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