Nonischemic ventricular tachycardia. Clinical course and long-term follow-up in patients without clinically overt heart disease

R. Lemery, P. Brugada, P. D. Bella, T. Dugernier, A. Van den Dool, H. J J Wellens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This report describes the clinical, laboratory, and electrophysiologic features of 52 patients with ventricular tachycardia (VT) who had no clinical evidence of heart disease. The mean age of patients was 36 years, cardiovascular collapse occurred in 18 patients (35%), and exercise-related symptoms were present in 24 of 49 patients (49%). There were 20 patients with sustained monomorphic VT, 11 with incessant VT, and 21 with nonsustained VT. Abnormalities were present in 14 of 38 patients (37%) during echocardiography and in 21 of 47 patients (45%) who underwent cardiac catheterization. During baseline evaluation while patients were not receiving antiarrhythmic drugs, ambulatory monitoring and exercise testing showed an 88% and 57% incidence, respectively, of nonsustained or sustained monomorphic VT, whereas 31 of 50 patients (62%) had inducible VT (requiring an infusion of isoproterenol in 11 patients) during programmed electrical stimulation. The clinical VT (when a 12-lead electrocardiogram was available for analysis) had a left bundle branch block (LBBB) configuration in 20 of 33 patients (61%) and a right axis deviation in 17 of 33 patients (51%). The VT occurring during exercise testing and programmed electrical stimulation had the same configuration as the clinical VT in 22 of 22 patients. Three patients have received an antitachycardia pacemaker, and one patient underwent endocardial resection. Forty-eight patients (92%) were treated medically. One patient died of cancer; the remaining 47 patients were alive at a mean-follow-up of 96 months after initial symptoms and 46 months after programmed electrical stimulation. We conclude that in patients without clinical evidence of heart disease, VT may be incessant, sustained, or nonsustained and that VT originates from the right ventricular outflow tract in more than 50% of patients. Although cardiac abnormalities may be found in more than 30% of patients, the exact significance of these abnormalities is unclear because of the absence of progressive changes and the excellent prognosis of this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-999
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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