Sustained symptomatic sinus node reentrant tachycardia: incidence, clinical significance, electrophysiologic observations and the effects of antiarrhythmic agents.

The clinical, electrocardiographic and electrophysiologic determinants and effects of antiarrhythmic agents on sustained sinus node reentrant tachycardia remain poorly defined. Of 65 consecutive men undergoing electrophysiologic studies for symptomatic paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia over a 4 year period, 11 (16.9%), who ranged in age from 39 to 76 years, demonstrated sustained sinus node reentrant tachycardia. On the surface electrocardiogram, before electrophysiologic studies, the following diagnoses were considered in the 11 patients: sinus node reentrant tachycardia on the basis of an RP'/P'R ratio of greater than 1 and P wave configuration similar to that of sinus P waves (7 patients); atrioventricular (AV) nodal reentrant tachycardia on the basis of an RP'/P'R ratio of less than 1 (3 patients); and paroxysmal atrial tachycardia with AV block (1 patient). All 11 patients had a history of recurrent palpitation, 4 had syncope, 2 had dizzy spells and 9 had organic heart disease. Sustained sinus node reentrant tachycardia could be reproducibly induced in all 11 patients during atrial pacing or premature atrial stimulation, or both, over a wide echo zone. The tachycardia could be terminated by carotid sinus massage, atrial pacing and premature atrial stimulation. Characteristics of tachycardia included: high-low activation sequence; cycle lengths of 250 to 590 ms with wide fluctuations of 20 to 180 ms in individual patients; RP'/P'R ratio of greater than 1 in 8 (73%) of the 11 patients and a ratio of less than 1 in 3 (27%). Induction of sustained sinus node reentrant tachycardia was prevented by intravenous ouabain (0.01 mg/kg body weight) in two of two patients, by intravenous verapamil (10 mg) in two of two patients and by intravenous amiodarone (5 mg/kg body weight) in four of four patients. In contrast, intravenous propranolol (0.1 mg/kg body weight) did not affect induction of sustained sinus node reentrant tachycardia in two of two patients. It is concluded that sustained sinus node reentrant tachycardia, seen in 16.9% of the study patients with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, is not as benign as previously believed; it is frequently associated with organic heart disease; it demonstrates wide variations in cycle length, unlike other forms of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia; it can masquerade as AV nodal reentrant tachycardia and paroxysmal atrial tachycardia with AV block on the surface electrocardiogram in 36% of patients; and it is responsive to intravenous administration of ouabain, verapamil or amiodarone.
AuthorsJ A Gomes, R J Hariman, P S Kang, I H Chowdry
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology (J Am Coll Cardiol) Vol. 5 Issue 1 Pg. 45-57 (Jan 1985) ISSN: 0735-1097 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID3964808 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Ouabain
  • Propranolol
  • Verapamil
  • Amiodarone
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amiodarone (pharmacology)
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents (pharmacology)
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ouabain (pharmacology)
  • Propranolol (pharmacology)
  • Sinoatrial Node (physiopathology)
  • Tachycardia (drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Tachycardia, Paroxysmal (physiopathology)
  • Time Factors
  • Verapamil (pharmacology)

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