Facilitating influence of disopyramide on atrial flutter termination by overdrive pacing

Paolo Della Bella, Claudio Tondo, Giancarlo Marenzi, Carlo M. Cipolla, Flavio Doni, Sergio Grazi, Andrea Rimondini, Alessandro Salvioni, Maurizio D. Guazzi

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Long-lasting (mean 30 days) type I atrial flutter was treated with overdrive pacing in 30 patients (mean age 69 years) with organic heart disease. To evaluate the effect of pretreatment with disopyramide, the study population was divided in 3 groups of 10 patients each: group A, no disopyramide therapy; group B, intravenous disopyramide (maximum dose 250 mg in 1 hour); and group C, oral disopyramide (400 mg daily for 4 days). There were no differences in baseline cycle length of atrial flutter among the 3 groups before drugs were given. The stimulation protocol included overdrive atrial pacing up to the shortest paced cycle of 150 ms performed at a maximum of 3 atrial sites. Reversion to sinus rhythm occurred in 2 patients in group A, 7 in group B (p <0.01) and 5 in group C. Pacing was performed from a mean number of 2.1 sites/patient in group A, 1.2 in group B and 2.0 in group C. Atrial fibrillation occurred in 7, 3 and 4 patients, respectively. Acceleration to a faster form of atrial flutter occurred in 3, 3 and 4 patients, respectively, and reversion to sinus rhythm occurred in all patients who had intravenous disopyramide and in 1 who took the drug orally. The administration of disopyramide before overdrive pacing improved the rate of conversion to sinus rhythm and allowed an easier stimulation protocol with a lower incidence of pacing-induced atrial fibrillation. Disopyramide is beneficial when overdrive atrial pacing is performed for the treatment of long-standing atrial flutter in patients with organic heart disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1049
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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