The electrocardiographic parameters relating occurrence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) episodes in patients with idiopathic VF (IVF) are still unknown. The aim of this study was to clarify efficacy of pharmacological therapy in patients with IVF with respect to repolarization dynamics. The study group consisted of 8 men (age 43.6 +/- 9.1 years) with IVF (Brugada type 5 patients, prominent J wave in the inferior leads 3 patients) who had documented spontaneous episodes of VF, 7 of whom had implantable cardioverter defibrillators. The relation between QT and RR interval was analyzed from 24-hour Holter ECG using an automatic analyzing system before and after pharmacological therapy (bepridil 5 and disopyramide 3). From QT-RR linear regression lines, QT intervals were determined at RR intervals of 0.6 second [QT(0.6)], 1.0 second [QT(1.0)], and 1.2 seconds [QT(1.2)]. Pharmacological therapy increased the slope of QT-RR regression line from 0.105 +/- 0.020 to 0.144 +/- 0.037 (P < 0.05). Accordingly, QT(1.0) and QT(1.2) became longer after drug therapy [QT(1.0), 0.382 +/- 0.016 seconds vs 0.414 +/- 0.016 seconds (P < 0.01); QT(1.2), 0.403 +/- 0.017 seconds vs 0.442 +/- 0.021 seconds (P < 0.01)]. However, QT(0.6) did not change after drug administration. Before drug therapy the average episodes of VF were 5.5 +/- 5.8 (range 1 to 17) during the observation period of 19.3 +/- 17.6 months (range 6 to 60 months). After drug therapy, 6 patients had no episode of VF for 24 to 120 months (66.0 +/- 38.5 months). Two patients had a single episode of VF for 12- and 96-month follow-ups. Pharmacological therapy decreased the frequency of VF episodes in association with prolongation of QT intervals at slower heart rates. Not only J wave and ST elevation but also shorter QT intervals at slower heart rates may represent an electrophysiological substrate for development of VF episodes in these specific IVF patients.