Recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to pentamidine-induced cardiotoxicity

Chest. 1988 Dec;94(6):1303-6. doi: 10.1378/chest.94.6.1303.


Although pentamidine isethionate is effective in the treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, it frequently causes serious adverse reactions. We report a case of reversible pentamidine-induced cardiotoxicity, characterized electrocardiographically by prolongation of the QT interval, T-wave inversion, and electrical alternans of the U-wave. In addition, the patient had repeated episodes of ventricular tachycardia that culminated in torsades de pointes. Our case re-emphasizes the need for close patient monitoring during pentamidine therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Adult
  • Amidines / adverse effects*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pentamidine / adverse effects*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / drug therapy*
  • Recurrence
  • Tachycardia / chemically induced*


  • Amidines
  • Pentamidine