Background: Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is characterized by adrenergically induced ventricular tachycardia (VT) associated with syncope and sudden death.
Objective: This study sought to characterize arrhythmias associated with CPVT with respect to provocation by exercise and drugs, electrocardiographic characteristics, and association with long-term outcomes; and to explore the relation between age and clinical presentation.
Methods: Seventy patients from 16 families were evaluated with exercise and selective adrenaline challenge, and screened for RyR2 mutations. CPVT was diagnosed in probands with symptoms and stress- or adrenaline-provoked VT, or in asymptomatic relatives with provoked VT or RyR2 mutations. Patients were followed up for recurrent syncope, VT, and sudden death.
Results: Twenty-seven patients including 16 probands were identified (median age 35 years, 67% female). Presentation was cardiac arrest in 33% and syncope in 56%, and 11% were asymptomatic. Polymorphic or bidirectional VT was provoked with exercise in 63% and adrenaline in 82%. The initiating beat of VT was late-coupled and wide (coupling interval 418 ± 42 ms; QRSd 131 ± 17 ms), and QRS morphology suggested an outflow tract origin in 59%. During follow-up of 6.2 ± 5.7 years, 2 patients died despite an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), 4 patients received ICD therapy for VT, and 5 patients had inappropriate therapy for supraventricular tachycardia. Patients presenting with late-onset CPVT (age > 21; n = 10) were often female (80%) and less likely to have RyR2 (Ryanodine receptor type 2) mutations (33%), and fatal events were not observed during follow-up (4.1 ± 3.6 years).
Conclusion: Ventricular arrhythmia in CPVT is often initiated from the outflow tract region. Despite β-blocker therapy and selective ICD implantation, breakthrough arrhythmias occur and may be associated with adverse outcomes.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.