Usefulness of programmed ventricular stimulation in predicting future arrhythmic events in patients with cardiac sarcoidosis

Am J Cardiol. 2005 Jul 15;96(2):276-82. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2005.03.059.


The utility of programmed ventricular stimulation to predict future arrhythmic events in patients with cardiac sarcoidosis is unknown. Similarly, the long-term benefit of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in cardiac sarcoidosis has not been established. Thirty-two consecutive patients with cardiac sarcoidosis underwent programmed ventricular stimulation. Patients with spontaneous or inducible sustained ventricular arrhythmias (n = 12) underwent ICD insertion. All study patients were followed for the combined arrhythmic event end point of appropriate ICD therapies or sudden death. Mean length of follow-up to sustained ventricular arrhythmia or sudden death was 32 +/- 30 months. Five of 6 patients (83%) with spontaneous sustained ventricular arrhythmias and 4 of 6 patients (67%) without spontaneous but with inducible sustained ventricular arrhythmias received appropriate ICD therapy. Two of 20 patients (10%) with neither spontaneous nor inducible sustained ventricular arrhythmias experienced sustained ventricular arrhythmias or sudden death. Programmed ventricular stimulation predicted subsequent arrhythmic events in the entire population (relative hazard 4.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30 to 15.39) and in patients who presented without spontaneous sustained ventricular arrhythmias (relative hazard 6.97, 95% CI 1.27 to 38.27). No patient with an ICD died of a primary arrhythmic event. In patients with spontaneous or inducible sustained ventricular arrhythmias, mean survival from first appropriate ICD therapy to death or cardiac transplant was 60 +/- 46 months, with only 2 patients dying or reaching transplant at study end. In conclusion, programmed ventricular stimulation identifies patients with cardiac sarcoidosis at high risk for future arrhythmic events. ICDs effectively terminate life-threatening arrhythmias in high-risk patients, with significant survival after first appropriate therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiomyopathies / complications
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Probability
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sarcoidosis / complications
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Rate
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / etiology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / mortality*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome