Background - Fifty percent of deaths in patients with coronary disease occur suddenly. Although many factors correlate with increased mortality, there is little information regarding the influence of these factors on mode of death. As such, optimum methods to determine patients most likely to benefit from implantable defibrillator therapy are unclear. Methods and Results - We analyzed the relation of ejection fraction and inducible ventricular tachyarrhythmias to mode of death in all 1791 patients enrolled in the Multicenter Unsustained Tachycardia Trial who did not receive antiarrhythmic therapy. Total mortality and arrhythmic deaths/cardiac arrests occurred more frequently in patients with ejection fraction <30% than in those with ejection fraction of 30% to 40%. The percentage of deaths classified as arrhythmic was similar in patients with ejection fraction <30% or ≥30%. The relative contribution of arrhythmic events to total mortality was significantly higher in patients with inducible tachyarrhythmia (58% of deaths in inducible patients versus 46% in noninducible patients, P=0.004). The higher percentage of events that were arrhythmic among patients with inducible tachyarrhythmia appeared more distinct among patients with an ejection fraction ≥30% (61% of events were arrhythmic among inducible patients with ejection fraction ≥30% and only 42% among noninducible patients, P=0.002). Conclusions - Both low ejection fraction and inducible tachyarrhythmias identify patients with coronary disease at increased mortality risk. Ejection fraction does not discriminate between modes of death, whereas inducible tachyarrhythmia identifies patients for whom death, if it occurs, is significantly more likely to be arrhythmic, especially if ejection fraction is ≥30%.
- Death, sudden
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)