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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 1999 Jul;10(7):897-904.

Distinctive RR dynamics preceding two modes of onset of spontaneous sustained ventricular tachycardia. (ESVEM) Investigators. Electrophysiologic Study Versus Electrocardiographic Monitoring.

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Cardiac Electrophysiology Program, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.



We hypothesized that autonomic activity preceding spontaneous sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VTsm) as assessed by heart rate (HR) and RR interval variability (RRV) differs between type 1 VTsm which is initiated by morphologically distinct, early cycle, possibly triggering premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) and type 2 VTsm in which the initial complex has a QRS waveform identical to subsequent complexes.


Baseline Holter tapes (1,646) from a clinical trial were scanned for VTsm. QRS complexes of VTsm were compared by two-lead cross-correlation to distinguish type 1 and type 2 VTsm. Frequency domain RRV index were estimated over 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and 24 hours. Type 1 and type 2 VTsm were present in 15 (group 1) and 33 (group 2) of 48 patients, respectively. HR did not change in group 1 (88.4+/-15.2 to 89.7+/-13.0 beats/min, P = 0.89), but increased before the onset of VTsm in group 2 (74.3+/-16.3 to 81.2+/-18.0 beats/min, P < 0.001). RRV index were severely depressed in both groups. No RRV index changed significantly before the onset of type 1 VTsm, whereas significant changes occurred before type 2 VTsm from 24-hour average to 30 minutes before VTsm in very low (very low-frequency power [VLFP]: 6.62+/-1.53 to 6.20+/-2.07 ln msec2, P = 0.036), low (low-frequency power [LFP]: 5.61+/-1.43 to 5.28+/-1.59 ln msec2, P = 0.004), normalized low (normalized low-frequency power [LFPn]: -0.48+/-0.58 to -0.55+/-0.64 normalized units [nu], P = 0.05) and the ratio of LFP to high-frequency power (HFP) (LFP/HFP: 4.20+/-3.47 to 3.45+/-2.53, P = 0.017). Declines in RRV index between 2 hours to the 30-minute period before VTsm occurred in group 2 but not group 1 in LFP (5.85 +/- 1.42 to 5.28 +/- 1.59 In msec, P = 0.043) and HFP (4.94 +/- 5.14 to 3.46 +/- 2.52 In msec2, P = 0.008), with a downward trend in LFP/HFP (4.94+/-5.14 to 3.45+/-2.53, P = 0.127) and LFPn (-0.38+/-0.36 to -0.55+/-0.64, P = 0.15), while HFPn tended to rise (-1.47+/-0.65 to -1.27+/-0.64, P = 0.15).


HR and RRV did not change before type 1 VTsm, suggesting that short-term changes in autonomic activity were not essential to initiation of apparent PVC-triggered VTsm. In contrast, RR interval dynamics before type 2 VTsm suggested that short-term changes in neurohormonal activity contributed to arrhythmia initiation. Heterogeneities in arrhythmia onset may reflect distinct triggers and substrate properties that could provide a basis for effective therapeutic targets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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