Acute electrophysiologic effects of amiodarone in patients with congestive heart failure
Riggio DW. Peters RW. Feliciano Z. Gottlieb SS. Shorofsky SR. Gold MR.
American Journal of Cardiology. 75(16):1158-61, 1995.
Patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF) are at increased risk for atrial and ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Amiodarone is generally well tolerated by this population and has a low proarrhythmic potential. Because of its peculiar kinetics, amiodarone requires a prolonged loading period, necessitating lengthy hospitalizations in a monitored setting. This study was planned prospectively to assess the electrophysiologic effects of an abbreviated high-dose oral load of amiodarone in patients with severe CHF and known or suspected life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Fifteen patients with stable CHF and known or suspected life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias underwent baseline electrophysiologic study. The study was repeated after administration of oral amiodarone, 50 mg/kg/day for 2 days in 8 divided doses (mean dose 6.9 +/- 0.4 g). After amiodarone administration, there was prolongation in virtually all conduction times and refractory periods. The prolongation of refractoriness was most pronounced in the atrium. Ventricular effective refractory periods demonstrated reverse frequency dependence. We conclude that a brief high-dose oral load of amiodarone is well tolerated by patients with CHF. It has marked and diffuse electrophysiologic actions suggestive of class I and III effects in addition to antiadrenergic and calcium blocking action. These effects are especially pronounced in the atrium.
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