JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Idiopathic ventricular fibrillation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors.

This study examined diagnostic and therapeutic roles of electrophysiological testing and long-term clinical outcome after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest due to idiopathic ventricular fibrillation. This is defined as ventricular fibrillation occurring in the absence of detectable underlying heart disease or metabolic or electrolyte disturbance. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest resulting from idiopathic ventricular fibrillation is uncommon. Records of all patients who underwent electrophysiological testing between June 1979 and June 1992 were reviewed. Patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest due to idiopathic ventricular fibrillation were identified. Follow-up information was obtained by telephone interview in June 1992. Of 194 patients who underwent electrophysiological study after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest not associated with acute myocardial infarction, only six (4 male and 2 female) had idiopathic ventricular fibrillation. It was induced in only two patients by programmed ventricular stimulation. No sustained ventricular arrhythmias were induced in the remaining four patients. Four patients received implantable cardioverter defibrillators, one was treated with a beta-adrenergic blocker, and one received no treatment. All patients were alive at a mean follow-up of 50 months. Two of the four patients without inducible sustained ventricular arrhythmias had events during follow-up. Of the two patients with inducible ventricular fibrillation, one experienced a cardiac arrest and documented ventricular fibrillation at 41 months after the index event and the other had had no recurrence at 15-month follow-up. All four patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators were alive at last follow-up, and two had device discharges.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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