Ventricular arrhythmias in the absence of structural heart disease.

Link to article at PubMed

Ventricular arrhythmias in the absence of structural heart disease.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 May 15;59(20):1733-44

Authors: Prystowsky EN, Padanilam BJ, Joshi S, Fogel RI

Ventricular arrhythmia (VA) in structurally normal hearts can be broadly considered under non-life-threatening monomorphic and life-threatening polymorphic rhythms. Monomorphic VA is classified on the basis of site of origin in the heart, and the most common areas are the ventricular outflow tracts and left ventricular fascicles. The morphology of the QRS complexes on electrocardiogram is an excellent tool to identify the site of origin of the rhythm. Although these arrhythmias are common and generally carry an excellent prognosis, rare sudden death events have been reported. Very frequent ventricular ectopy may also result in a cardiomyopathy in a minority of patients. Suppression of VA may be achieved using calcium-channel blockers, beta-adrenergic blockers, and class I or III antiarrhythmic drugs. Radiofrequency ablation has emerged as an excellent option to eliminate these arrhythmias, although certain foci including aortic cusps and epicardium may be technically challenging. Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) is rare and generally occurs in patients with genetic ion channel disorders including long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, catecholaminergic polymorphic VT, and short QT syndrome. Unlike monomorphic VT, these arrhythmic syndromes are associated with sudden death. While the cardiac gross morphology is normal, suggesting a structurally normal heart, abnormalities exist at the molecular level and predispose them to arrhythmias. Another fascinating area, idiopathic ventricular fibrillation and early repolarization syndrome, are undergoing research for a genetic basis.

PMID: 22575310 [PubMed - in process]

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