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

A comparison of electrophysiologic testing with Holter monitoring to predict antiarrhythmic-drug efficacy for ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Electrophysiologic Study versus Electrocardiographic Monitoring Investigators.

BACKGROUND. Invasive electrophysiologic study and noninvasive Holter monitoring (in conjunction with exercise testing) have both been used to evaluate the efficacy of antiarrhythmic drugs in patients with sustained ventricular tachycardia and in survivors of cardiac arrest. We directly compared these two approaches to the prediction of drug efficacy. METHODS. A total of 486 patients who had documented ventricular tachyarrhythmias that were inducible during electrophysiologic study and 10 or more premature ventricular complexes per hour during Holter monitoring were randomly assigned to undergo serial testing of antiarrhythmic-drug efficacy by electrophysiologic study or Holter monitoring. The patients received up to six drugs in random order until one was predicted to be effective either in suppressing inducible arrhythmia (in the electrophysiologic-study group) or in suppressing premature ventricular complexes (in the Holter-monitoring group). The patients were then followed for recurrences of arrhythmia or death. RESULTS. In the electrophysiologic-study group, 108 of 242 patients (45 percent) received a prediction of efficacy, as compared with 188 of 244 patients (77 percent) in the Holter-monitoring group (P < 0.001). Over a six-year follow-up period, there were 150 recurrences of arrhythmia and 46 deaths among the 296 patients receiving drugs predicted to be effective. Thirty-four of the deaths were from arrhythmic causes, and eight were from cardiac causes. There was no significant difference between the two study groups in the actuarial probabilities of these events. The risk of a recurrence of arrhythmia was significantly lower in patients who received sotalol than in those who received other antiarrhythmic drugs, and the risk was lower in those who had not previously failed to respond to antiarrhythmic drugs than in those who had. CONCLUSIONS. Although Holter monitoring led to predictions of antiarrhythmic-drug efficacy more often than did electrophysiologic study in patients with sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias, there was no significant difference in the success of drug therapy as selected by the two methods.[1]


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