Thirty-nine patients with symptomatic ectopic atrial tachycardia (9 paroxysmal, of which 5 were incessant) and atrial fibrillation (AF) (25 paroxysmal, 5 chronic) were treated with oral flecainide acetate (100 to 400 mg/day). Thirty-two patients had organic heart disease (16 coronary artery disease, 6 valvular, 10 cardiomyopathy, 7 primary electrical abnormality). Previous antiarrhythmic trials consisted of 0 to 5 drugs (mean 2.2). Of 39 patients with atrial tachycardia or AF, a complete response (no recurrent symptomatic atrial arrhythmia) was achieved in 22 (56%), a partial response (more than 95% reduction in arrhythmia occurrence) in 3 (8%) and no response in 14 (36%). Lett atrial size, ejection fraction, underlying heart disease, duration of symptoms before treatment and drug levels were not useful for predicting clinical response. Therefore, during the follow-up period of 5.4 ± 6.7 months (range 4 weeks to 2.5 years), flecainide had a complete or partial effect in 25 patients (64%). Complete or partial responses were noted in 8 of 9 patients (90%) with ectopic atrial tachycardia and 17 of 30 (57%) with AF. In 14 patients with concurrent ventricular arrhythmias, a significant reduction in episodes of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia was also achieved. Treatment was discontinued in 8 patients (20%) because of cardiac adverse reactions, including pulmonary edema and ventricular or atrial proarrhythmiac response. Thus, oral flecainide acetate is effective therapy for some patients with ectopic atrial tachycardia or AF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine