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Am Heart J. 1988 Apr;115(4):799-808.

Beta-blocker therapy in patients with ventricular tachyarrhythmias in the setting of left ventricular dysfunction.

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Division of Cardiology, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange 92668.


Although several studies suggest beta blockers (BB) are effective in suppressing ventricular arrhythmias, less is known about their role in the treatment of patients with ventricular tachyarrhythmias associated with impaired left ventricular function. To assess the tolerance and efficacy of these agents, 32 patients presenting with either ventricular fibrillation (18) or sustained ventricular tachycardia (14) were studied during BB therapy. Left ventricular dysfunction (mean ejection fraction 29%) was present as a consequence of coronary artery disease (26) or cardiomyopathy (6). Baseline arrhythmia assessment revealed recurrent ventricular tachycardia in all patients. Antiarrhythmic drug therapy including BB was guided by programmed stimulation (10), exercise testing (8), ambulatory monitoring (12), or was given empirically (2). Beta blockers were well tolerated, as measured by exercise duration, which improved significantly, and by long-term maintenance, which continued in 23 of 32 (72%) patients. Over a mean follow-up of 668 days, patients treated with BB had a relatively low incidence of both sudden (3%) and nonsudden (9%) death. Thus, BB can be effective and well tolerated adjunct therapy in patients with a history of ventricular tachyarrhythmias in the setting of impaired left ventricular function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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