Bursts of rapid ventricular pacing used during 573 episodes of ventricular tachycardia in 23 patients terminated 512 episodes (89 percent), with burst rates averaging 56 beats/min above the ventricular tachycardia rate, for 5 to 10 captures. Tachycardia was accelerated by pacing bursts to rates below 300 beats/min in 16 episodes (3 percent); 10 of these terminated spontaneously or responded to further bursts. Acceleration of heart rate to more than 300 beats/min or ventricular fibrillation occurred six times (1 percent), each episode requiring direct current cardioversion. Pacing bursts had no effect in 38 instances (7 percent), mostly in patients with terminal cardiogenic shock. Implantable pacemakers delivering bursts of rapid ventricular pacing were placed in two patients who have used these units at home. No deaths were associated with bursts of rapid ventricular pacing, which is an effective, rapid, pleasant alternative to repeated direct current cardioversion and a useful tool during electrophysiologic testing in patients with recurrent ventricular tachycardia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine