Patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) have a high prevalence of complex ventricular arrhythmias. Accordingly, the electrophysiologic effects of new drugs for the treatment of CHF should be studied to determine whether they are safe in this population of patients. Fifteen patients with New York Heart Association functional classes II to IV CHF underwent hemodynamic and electrophysiologic testing during control conditions, and after 10 to 20 μg/kg/min of intravenous amrinone (dosages that increased cardiac output and decreased left ventricular filling pressures). All cardioactive drugs were stopped for at least 5 half-lives before entry into the study. Amrinone decreased the atrial effective refractory period from 256 to 240 ms (p = 0.015) and the AV nodal functional refractory period from 374 to 356 ms (p <0.05), and enhanced maximal 1:1 AV nodal conduction from 371 to 334 ms (p = 0.006). Prolonged HV intervals were present in 9 of 15 patients and were not affected by amrinone. Holter monitoring was performed in 10 patients during acute oral administration of amrinone. There were no significant changes in the frequency of ventricular extrasystoles or ventricular tachycardia, although the frequency of ventricular couplets tended to increase slightly. Amrinone therefore enhances AV conduction and does not appear to have significant arrhythmogenic potential during acute administration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine