Sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) develops in many patients with chronic Chagasic myocarditis. Programmed stimulation was used to study the electrophysiologic characteristics of VT in 15 patients with Chagas' cardiomyopathy. Nine patients were in New York Heart Association functional class I, 5 were in class II and 1 patient was in class III. The average ejection fraction was 56 ± 7%, which is somewhat better than that reported in patients with VT owing to idiopathic cardiomyopathy. In 11 patients VT could be reproducibly initiated and terminated by programmed stimulation. Intravenous mexilitene prevented induction of VT in 7 of 8 patients; amiodarone did not prevent induction in 3 of 4 patients. Our data indicate that the mechanism of VT is likely to be reentrant in many patients, and therefore VT can be produced by extrastimuli. Electrophysiologic study is therefore useful for establishing the diagnosis of sustained VT and may be useful for guiding initial therapy in selected cases of Chagas' disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine