Transesophageal Electrophysiology

Electropharmacological test with class-I C drugs in paroxysmal supraventricular re-entrant tachycardia: is a negative result with a drug predictive of the ineffectiveness of other drugs of the same class?

Inama G, Furlanello F, Braito G, Guarnerio M, Vergara G. Divisione di Cardiologia, Ospedale S. Chiara, Trento. G Ital Cardiol 1991, 21(2):131-8. Propafenone and flecainide, both I C class drugs, are first choice in the treatment of paroxysmal supraventricular reciprocating tachycardia. The aim of this study was to check whether a negative or paradoxical electropharmacological test with one of the two drugs was predictive of an equally negative or paradoxical test with the other drug. Thirty patients with disabling paroxysmal supraventricular reciprocating tachycardia, 16 M, 14 F, mean age 30.6 +/- 16 years, were studied with serial electropharmacological tests using esophageal approach. The reentry circuit was sustained by an anomalous pathway in 25 patients (83.5%) whereas it was idionodal in the other 5 (16.5%). Propafenone was tested in 13 patients (43.5%, group A) after flecainide had resulted negative or paradoxical in the first test. In 17 patients (56.5%, group B) flecainide was tested after propafenone had resulted negative or paradoxical. The second drug tested was also ineffective in 14 of the 30 patients (group A + group B) while it had positive results in 16 patients. Specifically, propafenone was positive in 6 of the 13 patients (group A) in whom flecainide had been negative, and flecainide was positive in 10 of the 17 patients (group B) with acute negative or paradoxical propafenone test. These "acute" results were confirmed in steady-state with esophageal study and in the follow-up (21.9 +/- 9.3 months). Conclusions: 53.5% of the patients who are "non responders" to the electropharmacological test with one of the two drugs (propafenone or flecainide) may be "responders" to the other drug. Thus the ineffectiveness of one of the two drugs is not predictive of ineffectiveness of the other.

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