High-dose intravenous amiodarone was given to 35 patients with recurrent life-threatening ventricular tachycardia (VT) refractory to conventional anti-arrhythmic agents. Intravenous amiodarone was given as a 5 mg/kg dose over 30 minutes followed by 20 to 30 mg/kg/day as a constant infusion for 5 days. Twenty-two (63%) patients responded to intravenous amiodarone. All 22 responders received oral amiodarone. Thirteen (59%) continue to receive oral amiodarone after an average follow-up of 19 months, 4 (18%) had sudden cardiac death on oral amiodarone, 2 (9%) died while receiving amiodarone, secondary to left ventricular failure, and 3 (14%) discontinued amiodarone because of side effects. Of the 13 (37%) nonresponders, 10 died in the hospital while receiving intravenous amiodarone, secondary to lethal arrhythmia. Three nonresponders were discharged from the hospital; 2 with automatic cardioverter/defibrillators and 1 receiving a combination of antiarrhythmic agents. Serious adverse events occurred in 13 (37%) patients during intravenous amiodarone therapy. These included hypotension in 8 patients, symptomatic bradycardia in 4 patients and sinus arrest with bradycardia and hypotension in 1 patient. Minor side effects occurred in 23 (66%) patients. In conclusion, high dose intravenous amiodarone is effective in most patients with recurrent, sustained VT but is associated with an unacceptably high incidence of serious adverse events. The optimal dose and duration of intravenous amiodarone for patients with recurrent, refractory sustained VT remain unknown.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine