Efficacy of metoprolol and sotalol in the prevention of recurrences of sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2002 Nov;25(11):1571-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9592.2002.01571.x.


ICDs provide protection against sudden cardiac death in patients with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Nevertheless, most ICD recipients receive adjunctive antiarrhythmic drug therapy to reduce the number of recurrent episodes and ICD discharges. The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of metoprolol and d,l-sotalol in preventing VT/VF recurrences in patients with an ICD in a prospective, randomized trial. One hundred patients (83 men, 17 women; mean age 59 years, SD +/- 11 years) were randomized to receive metoprolol or sotalol after implantation of an ICD. There were no significant differences between the two groups with regard to age, sex, underlying cardiac disease, left ventricular ejection fraction, NYHA class assessment and clinical arrhythmia. The median follow-up was 728 days (25th percentile: 530 days, 75th percentile: 943 days) in the metoprolol group and 727 days (25th percentile: 472 days, 75th percentile: 1,223 days) in the sotalol group (P = 0.52). Thirty-three patients treated with metoprolol and 30 patients receiving sotalol had at least one episode during the follow-up. Event-free survival curves were generated for the two treatment arms using the Kaplan-Meier method and showed no significant difference (P = 0.68). Eight patients treated with metoprolol and six patients treated with sotalol died during follow-up. Total mortality was not significantly different between the two study groups (P = 0.43). Metoprolol is as efficacious as sotalol in preventing VT/VF recurrences in patients with an ICD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metoprolol / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Sotalol / therapeutic use*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / mortality
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / prevention & control*


  • Sotalol
  • Metoprolol