The effect of lorcainide on arrhythmias and survival in patients with acute myocardial infarction: an example of publication bias

Int J Cardiol. 1993 Jul 1;40(2):161-6. doi: 10.1016/0167-5273(93)90279-p.


Ninety-five patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction were randomly allocated on admission to hospital on a double blind basis to treatment with lorcainide, a Class 1C anti-arrhythmic drug, or matching placebo. Treatment was continued for 6 weeks. Twenty-four-hour ECG tape recordings were made immediately on admission, on the sixth or seventh day after admission, and again just before the end of the treatment period. Lorcainide was shown to be an effective anti-arrhythmic agent. The study was not designed to evaluate the effect of lorcainide on survival, but there were nine deaths among the 49 patients treated with lorcainide compared with only one in the patients given placebo. These findings are consistent with the results of the First and Second Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression trials (CAST and CAST-II). This study was carried out in 1980 but was not published at the time: it now provides an interesting example of 'publication bias'.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / drug therapy*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Benzeneacetamides*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications*
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Piperidines / adverse effects
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Publishing
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Benzeneacetamides
  • Piperidines
  • lorcainide