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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ventricular tachycardias above the initially programmed tachycardia detection interval in patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators: incidence, prediction and significance.

OBJECTIVES: This retrospective study was performed to provide data on ventricular tachycardias (VT) with a cycle length longer than the initially programmed tachycardia detection interval (TDI) in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). BACKGROUND: It has been clinical practice to program a safety margin of 30 to 60 ms between the slowest spontaneous or inducible VT and the TDI. METHODS: Baseline characteristics of 659 consecutive patients with ICDs were prospectively; follow-up information was retrospectively collected. RESULTS: During a mean follow-up of 31+/-23 months, 377 patients (57.2%) had at least one recurrent VT or ventricular fibrillation; 47 patients (7.1%) suffered 61 VTs above the TDI. The risk of a VT above the TDI ranged between 2.7% and 3.5% per year during the first four years after ICD implantation. The difference between the cycle length of the slowest VT before ICD implantation, spontaneous or induced, and the first VT above TDI was 108+/-58 ms. Fifty-four VTs (88.5%) above the TDI were associated with significant clinical symptoms (angina or palpitation 63.9%, heart failure 6.6% and syncope 8.2%). Six patients (9.8%) had to be resuscitated. Kaplan-Meyer analysis identified New York Heart Association class II or III (p = 0.021), ejection fraction < 0.40 (p = 0.027), spontaneous (p<0.001) or inducible (p<0.001) monomorphic VTs and the use of class III antiarrhythmic drugs (amiodarone, p<0.001; sotalol, p = 0.004) as risk predictors of VTs above the TDI. The risk of recurrent VTs above TDI was 11.8%, 12.5% and 26.6% during the first, second and third year after first VT above TDI, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of VTs above the TDI is significantly increased in some patients, and many VTs above TDI cause significant clinical symptoms. A larger safety margin between spontaneous or inducible VTs and the TDI seems to be necessary in selected patients. This is in conflict with an increased risk of inadequate episodes and demands highly specific and sensitive detection algorithms in these patients.[1]


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