Antiarrhythmic efficacy and hemodynamic effects of cibenzoline in patients with nonsustained ventricular tachycardia and left ventricular dysfunction
This was a prospective single-blind, placebo-controlled study of cibenzoline in 21 patients with five or more runs of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) and left ventricular dysfunction (mean left ventricular ejection fraction 36 +/- 24%). Ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring revealed a baseline of 616 +/- 431 runs of VT/day on placebo. Of the 18 patients tolerating the drug, 14 (77%) patients initially had a 75% or greater reduction in VT (177 +/- 164 runs of VT/day, p less than .05). A repeat ambulatory electrocardiogram documented long-term suppression of VT in 13 of 14 patients at 1 month (2.1 +/- 1.3 runs VT/day, p less than .01), in 10 of 14 patients at 3 months (2.5 +/- 1.9 runs VT/day, p less than .01), and in nine of 14 patients at 6 months (1.5 +/- 0.8 runs VT/day, p less than .01). Aggravation of arrhythmia or drug failure was seen in four of 18 (22%) patients (new onset of sudden cardiac death, two patients; sustained VT, two patients). Hemodynamic measurements were obtained with the use of right heart catheterization in patients at rest and exercising during the placebo phase and after 60 hr of oral cibenzoline. Group hemodynamic variables, both measured and derived, showed no detrimental effect of cibenzoline. However, in three of 21 patients (mean ejection fraction 21%), cibenzoline was discontinued due to severe depression of left ventricular function. Caution is recommended in the use of cibenzoline in patients with left ventricular ejection fractions of less than 25%.