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Archive for September, 2016

Ventricular tachycardia is a regular wide qrs tachycardia.It can be monomorphic or polymorphic.

General diagnostic  rules In VT  (Gross though, with considerable overlap)

  • Polymorphic VT is more often Ischemic , drug induced, electrolytic, and includes many inherited VTs .Most primary  ischemic VT are polymorphic.
  • Monomorphic VT occurs  more common with structurally abnormal heart.(DCM, HOCM, ARVD etc .Please note late scar induced  VT are often monomorphic , which is also being referred to as Ischemic VT in literature )

*Its important to realise any  VT will transform to polymorphic just prior to degenerating into VF.

Management Issues.

The management of VT in acute setting is same irrespective of morphology of QRS complex.Either you DC shock or administer Amiodarone, Lignocaine , and other reserve drugs.

The issue comes only in stable VTs.In stable VT or if VT recurrence it’s advisable to bother about the ethology and choose a drug.Its believed , Amiodarone is contraindicated in true polymorphic VT that was precipitated by prolonged QT interval or Brugada syndrome.

In Ischemic  VT , lignocaine may be preferable over Amiodarone as the later may prolong the QT interval and VT could recur if the index VT was triggered by ischemia induced prolonged QT and subsequently  gets worsened by the drug Amiodarone.(please note, Lignocaine has neutral or even shorten the QT)

Let me conclude with a controversial observation, many of VT storms  we are witnessing only in the era of Amiodarone.Most episodes of VT Storm are polymorphic and often precipitated after blouses of Amiodarone punctuated with DC shock. With an explicit pro arrhythmic potential of this drug, I strongly believe some of the episodes of VT Storm  is iatrogenic and it tends to disappear as the drug effect of Amiodarone weans off.

Final message

In  monomorphic VTs, drug choice and selection may not be that important , polymorphic it could make a big difference !

Always ask a query  whether the VT you are tackling  (in any setting )is likely to have precipitated by prolonged  Action potential duration (Read as QT Interval ) ? Of course  ,one  can’t get a clear answer to this in bed side .But,  if you have strong reasons to suspect , better to avoid drugs that prolong action potential duration ( Amiodarone comes top in this list, though it can terminate VT of any ethology  with any morphology because it has all 4 group action of Waghaun williams !)

Comments welcome from EP experts ,  still to understand things in perspective.

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Brugada syndrome is  probably the most fascinating discovery  in  Inherited cardiac  Ion channel dysfunction that linked the basic sciences to bedside . Its due to genetic defect in SCN gene that results in sodium channel blockade of phase  of action potential  to cause troublesome ventricular tachycardia (Phase 2 reentry ) . Now we realise, there are some phenotypic expressions to this gene defect . RV epicardial anatomical substrates are found to responsible for these Arrhythmias.

So ,does Brugada turn out to be a structural heart disease (At least histological ) ? Where is the evidence coming from ?

Now, we realise  RF ablation of epicardial aspect  of  RVOT / Adjacent anterior RV wall can eliminate Brugada pattern confirming anatomical defect  at cellular level. Our changing perception of Brugada from pure functional to anatomical cause is exciting and  intriguing as well !  ICDs were  the specific therapy so far.This discovery make it RF ablation an option.

The recent data from Brugada himself  was presented in World congress of electrophysiology / European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) EUROPACE-CARDIOSTIM 2016 confirming the therapeutic benefit of targeting  the epicardial structural phenotypic substrares (Ref 3 )

Final message

We have been taught  Brugada syndrome is  a primary electrical disease .It was  never considered as structural heart disease. Knowledge evolves slowly, so we shouldn’t conclude prematurely .Shall we conclude , Brugada syndrome is truly a  structural heart disease at least in some ?*. This  makes RF ablation  a new  cure for Brugada ,  making it a useful alternate modality to ICD , Of course there can be an overlap between ARVD and Brugada  syndrome. Mind you RF ablation scores over ICD on any  given day as its potential  cure , while ICD is  just a back up device and it simply wait & watch for the VT to occur.We also know  ICDs are still learning human EP data, and are  not intelligent enough to differentiate true VT from false ones with acceptable error** margin.

* Let the experts decide

**Acceptable ? What  do you mean by that ?

Reference

Questions queued

1.Is Brugada VT monomorphic , polymorphic or both ?

2.Is Amiodarone Indicated in Brugada syndrome ?

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Read a related article

https://drsvenkatesan.com/2008/07/02/how-do-you-define-apical-impulse/

https://drsvenkatesan.com/2008/07/02/how-do-you-define-apical-impulse/

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