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Johns Hopkins Med J. 1981 Jul;149(1):1-5.

Complex ventricular arrhythmias after myocardial infarction during convalescence and follow-up: a harbinger of multi-vessel coronary disease, left ventricular dysfunction and sudden death.


Sixty-one medically treated patients had coronary and left ventricular angiography and 24-hour electrocardiographic monitoring 10-24 days after myocardial infarction, and then had serial 24-hour electrocardiographic monitoring during the 13 +/- 11 months after myocardial infarction. Complex ventricular arrhythmias (2 or more sequential ventricular premature depolarizations (VPDs), multiform VPDs, bigeminy) during follow-up were associated with a high mortality rate and occurred most commonly in the setting of three-vessel coronary disease, proximal left anterior descending coronary disease and low left ventricular ejection fraction. By contrast, patients without complex VPDs in either the late hospital or posthospital phase of myocardial infarction had no mortality during the year following myocardial infarction; furthermore, these patients had a higher incidence of single-vessel coronary disease and less left ventricular dysfunction. These results emphasize the adverse prognostic significance of complex ventricular arrhythmias in the year after myocardial infarction and their association with extensive coronary artery disease and left ventricular damage.

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