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Is surgery for ventricular tachycardia too risky?

Authors
  • van Hemel, N M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical cardiology
Publication Date
May 01, 1991
Volume
14
Issue
5
Pages
422–424
Identifiers
PMID: 2049893
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

There is strong evidence that recurrent symptomatic ventricular tachycardia (VT) after acute myocardial infarction is associated with a poor prognosis (1-year mortality varying from 12% to 54%). When successive drug trials fail to suppress VT, cardiac surgery is considered but its therapeutical value appears disputable. Recent studies show inhospital mortality after surgery varying from 5% to 23%, and the 5-year actuarial survival ranging from 33% to 71%. However, using the quality of the residual left ventricular function as criterion for operability, our recent inhospital mortality diminished to 1.3%, while the 4-year actuarial survival was 85%. Arrhythmia freedom without drugs after 4 years after surgery is nowadays about 75%. These findings show that cardiac surgery might be a very acceptable alternative therapy in surgical candidates, in particular when one or more risk factors become apparent after acute myocardial infarction. This article describes the current position of arrhythmia surgery in relation to drug therapy and the implantable automatic defibrillator.

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