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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2004 Sep;15(9):993-8.

Influence of gender on arrhythmia characteristics and outcome in the Multicenter UnSustained Tachycardia Trial.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.



Previous studies have demonstrated gender differences in risk of sudden death in patients with ischemic heart disease. The Multicenter UnSustained Tachycardia Trial (MUSTT) evaluated the ability of therapy guided by electrophysiologic (EP) testing to reduce mortality in patients with coronary disease, ejection fraction < or =40%, and spontaneous nonsustained ventricular tachycardia.


We analyzed the influence of gender on results of EP testing and outcome of patients enrolled in MUSTT. Women made up 14% of the overall MUSTT population and were less likely than men to have inducible sustained randomizable ventricular arrhythmias (24% vs 36%, P < 0.001). Baseline characteristics differed between men and women. In randomized patients, women were older, more likely to have had an infarction within 6 months, more likely to have a history of heart failure, and more likely to have recent angina prior to enrollment than men (P < 0.05). In the EP-guided therapy group, there was no difference in implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation rate in men and women (45% vs 53%, P = 0.38). There also were no significant gender influences on risk of arrhythmic death or cardiac arrest (2-year event rate 9% in women and 12% in men, adjusted hazard ratio 0.88) or overall mortality (2-year event rate 32% in women vs 21% in men, adjusted hazard ratio 1.51).


The outcome and benefit of EP-guided therapy in this trial did not appear to be influenced by gender. However, due to the small numbers of women in the trial, small differences in outcome may not be apparent. Plans for future primary prevention trials should include careful risk stratification of women who less often have inducible sustained ventricular arrhythmias and better left ventricular function despite more frequent heart failure.

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