In patients with ischemic heart disease and arrhythmias, selection of antiarrhythmic treatment is often difficult as it is hard to separate "primary" from ischemic arrhythmias. We studied 20 patients with ischemic heart disease, who developed ventricular arrhythmias consistently during exercise test. Exercise test was performed twice during infusion of placebo and then during intravenous administration of nitroglycerin, titrated to reduce systolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg. Exercise duration was 7.8 +/- 1.7 and 7.9 +/- 1.5 min, in the 2 placebo tests (NS). Angina developed in 5 patients and ischemic ST changes in 10. With nitroglycerin exercise duration increased to 8.4 +/- 20 min (p less than 0.05), diagnostic ST segment depression was observed in 2 patients and only 1 had angina. In all 20 patients, ventricular arrhythmias were consistently present during both tests on placebo, that were markedly reduced by nitroglycerin. In fact, ventricular ectopic beats were 455 (mean 35.8 +/- 16.8) and 418 (mean 34.4 +/- 11.1) in the 2 exercise tests with placebo, and 11 during nitroglycerin infusion (mean 0.6 +/- 0.1; p less than 0.001). Couplets were 28 and 29 during placebo (NS) and 0 during nitroglycerin (p less than 0.001). Ventricular tachycardia was present in 6 and 8 patients during placebo but in none during nitroglycerin (p less than 0.001). Reduction of exercise-induced arrhythmias was maintained during chronic treatment with oral vasodilators. Prevention of exercise-related arrhythmias by nitroglycerin infusion appears a good indicator of their ischemic origin and may provide valuable information for long-term profilaxis with oral vasodilators, then avoiding the use of antiarrhythmic agents and their potential side effects.
|Translated title of the contribution||Intravenous nitroglycerin infusion suppresses exercise-induced arrhythmia in patients with ischemic cardiopathy: indications for chronic treatment|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - May 1990|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine