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

Multicenter trial of sotalol compared with procainamide in the suppression of inducible ventricular tachycardia: a double-blind, randomized parallel evaluation. Sotalol Multicenter Study Group.

Sotalol is the prototype class III agent that combines beta-blocking properties with the propensity to prolong the effective refractory period by lengthening the action potential duration. Its precise effect on the prevention of ventricular tachycardia-ventricular fibrillation (VTVF) compared to class I agents has not been evaluated in a blinded study. In a double-blind parallel-design multicenter study, the electrophysiologic and antiarrhythmic effects of intravenous and oral sotalol (n = 55) and procainamide (n = 55) were therefore compared in patients with VTVF inducible by programmed electric stimulation. Sotalol produced a greater effect on lengthening the ventricular effective refractory period (VERP). It prevented the inducibility of VTVF in 30% versus 20% for procainamide, but this was not significantly different. In an alternate therapy group (n = 41) of similar patients previously refractory to or intolerant of procainamide, intravenous sotalol prevented inducibility in 32%. The pooled overall sotalol efficacy rate was 31%. There was a significant relation between the increase in the VERP and the prevention of inducibility of VTVF (n = 56; p < 0.02). VERP of > or = 300 msec was critical for the prevention of VTVF inducibility. Thirteen sotalol and 6 procainamide responders from the randomized group and 30 from the nonrandomized groups completed 1 year of oral sotalol therapy follow-up. Life-table analysis of these patient in each group showed a trend in favor of sotalol; however, statistical analysis was not possible because of the small numbers of patients. Both sotalol and procainamide were well tolerated. In the randomized group there was one case of sudden death during treatment with sotalol and two cases of nonfatal torsades de pointes in the procainamide group and two in the sotalol group; in the nonrandomized alternate therapy group, there were 6 cases of nonfatal torsades de pointes. The data support the emerging role of sotalol in the control of symptomatic ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation.[1]


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