Efficacy of intravenous propranolol for suppression of inducibility of ventricular tachyarrhythmias with different electrophysiologic characteristics in coronary artery disease

Heikki V. Huikuri, Marilyn Cox, Alberto Interian, Kenneth M. Kessler, Frances Glicksman, Agustin Castellanos, Robert J Myerburg

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The efficacy of intravenous propranolol for suppression of inducibility of sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VT) was studied in 24 patients who had failed ≥1 membrane-active antiarrhythmic drug (mean 2.2 ± 1.2 drugs/patient). The response to propranolol was compared in 13 patients who had only stable monomorphic VTs inducible at baseline and another 11 patients who had ≥1 episode of electrically unstable VTs (polymorphic VT, ventricular flutter or ventricular fibrillation) at baseline. Seven patients (29%) became noninducible (responders) and 17 patients (71%) remained inducible to sustained VT (nonresponders) after propranolol. The basal heart rate was faster in responders than in nonresponders (101 ± 14 vs 86 ± 11 beats/min, p < 0.01). The magnitude of heart rate reduction was also greater after propranolol in responders (from 101 ± 14 to 80 ± 9 beats/min, p < 0.001) than in nonresponders (from 86 ± 11 to 74 ± 9 beats/min, p < 0.01) (p < 0.05 between the groups), despite equal plasma propranolol concentrations (84 ± 50 vs 88 ± 43 ng/ml, difference not significant). Seven of 11 patients (64%) who had ≥1 episode of unstable VTs inducible at baseline responded to intravenous propranolol, whereas none of the patients with only stable monomorphic VTs became noninducible after β blockade (p < 0.001). Responders had shorter cycle length of inducible VTs than nonresponders (225 ± 38 vs 302 ± 66 ms, p < 0.001). Thus, intravenous propranolol appears to be efficacious in suppressing fast, electrically unstable VTs, compared to monomorphic VTs with slower rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1309
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Dec 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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