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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2008 Jan;19(1):95-7. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

Flecainide suppresses bidirectional ventricular tachycardia and reverses tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy in Andersen-Tawil syndrome.

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Department of Cardiology, School of Medical Sciences, National University of Rosario, Argentina.


Bidirectional ventricular tachycardia (BVT), although a rare arrhythmia in the general population, is frequently observed in patients with Andersen-Tawil syndrome and long QT interval. However, the pharmacologic treatment of this arrhythmia remains unknown. In the present study, we documented the favorable antiarrhythmic action of flecainide in a young woman with sustained BVT and Andersen-Tawil syndrome. She presented with incessant BVT that could only be terminated with flecainide. During sinus rhythm, a prolonged QT interval was observed. Genetic studies revealed a mutation in the K(+) channel gene KCNJ2. Over a 4-year follow-up period, recurrence of her arrhythmia occurred twice. The first episode was due to noncompliance and resolved with resumption of flecainide therapy. The second recurrence was associated with a tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy and resolved when the dose of flecainide was increased from 200 to 300 mg daily. This report suggests that flecainide can be effective in controlling BVT associated with Andersen-Tawil syndrome and indicates that the left ventricular dysfunction is secondary to the arrhythmia and not due to an associated phenotypic manifestation of the disorder.

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