Posts Tagged ‘how to manage lv clot with vt’

Clinical cardiac  problems can be very demanding at  times. Here  is a  situation even the toughest will struggle.

A 52 year old man comes with a wide qrs tachycardia  with a blood pressure of 90 /70 with class 4 dyspnea .He was restless , trying to sit up because of  orthopnea. The ECG showed  a definitive ventricular tachycardia  with LBBB morphology.The patient was   connected  the   oxygen line ,  cardiac monitor, oximetery, etc

The consultant  on call instructed   immediate DC shock   and  he  warned  about  impending ventricular fibrillation .He  casually told the fellow to  do a echocardiogram also and rule out any structural heart disease. Even as  the staff was  arranging the defibrillator , the fellow did   a  rapid bed side echocardiogram . He was  shocked to find a  large mobile LV clot   with a  dilated ,  severely dysfunctional left ventricle  having an  EF  of  25 % .

Now comes  the critical time . Should we shock this man with VT and LV clot?

What will be your option now ?

  1. I will not mind the LV clot  ,  will go ahead with DC  Shock . Let him dislodge his LV clot . If It is his fate  let it be !
  2. Defer the   DC shock . Fall back on medical cardioversion like  Bretyllium, Amiodarone or magnesium  . After all . . .  it is not a pulse less VT. He is not in cardiac arrest . He can afford to wait .We can’t risk a stroke .
  3. Give a low energy  shock  25 joules  with paddles  avoiding the LV apex.  .It may not dislodge the apical clot , still  VT may be terminated.
  4. Try overdrive  pacing instead of DC shock
  5. Refer the patient for emergency surgical removal of LV clot
  6.  Suck out the LV clot with a   LV suction catheter and plan elective DC version*
  7. Insert a temporary Aortic filter and shock the patient **

*  Such catheters are in preliminary stage of development . Is  that true ?  ( If  no I  should get the royalty for the idea  ! )

(Read the related article in my blog )

** A loud imagination . Such filters do not exist.( If  IVC  can be filtered   why not  Aorta ? )

What was finally done ?

After analysing each  of the above  , we decided   option one “Prey the  God  and shock the heart” ) After all if it is  a VF ,  this  issue becomes null and void !  . Luckily God was with us.  The  patient  was  reverted to sinus  rhythm with 50joules   and  had  no  untoward events . He was subsequently anti-coagulated .  He is being planned for CRT/ICD therapy

Final message

Critical care  medicine is all about risk taking .Many times , therapeutic maneuvers  confer a  significant   risk  to life  comparable  to the   index problem.  But that  should not be a deterrent .  A careful learned decision  is warranted.

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