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December 12, 1977

Long-Term Antiarrhythmic Therapy in Survivors of Prehospital Cardiac ArrestInitial 18 Months' Experience

JAMA. 1977;238(24):2621-2624. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280250047021

Ambulatory rhythm monitoring and chronic arrhythmia management were studied in 16 patients resuscitated from prehospital cardiac arrest. Asymptomatic complex ventricular arrhythmias (ACVA) occurred in 12 patients (75%) entering long-term follow-up during the first 12 months (average follow-up, 13.25 months). The patients' therapy consisted of a dose-adjusted, membrane-active antiarrhythmic drug regimen monitored by blood levels. While there has been little change in the frequency of ACVAs despite carefully controlled antiarrhythmic management, only one death has occurred during 212 patient-months of postarrest follow-up, a 6% one-year mortality. This compares favorably to our previous experience in survivors of prehospital cardiac arrest not receiving a controlled antiarrhythmic program. Despite the failure to suppress ACVAs, the drug-monitored population is showing a trend toward a decreased frequency of recurrent cardiac arrest.

(JAMA 238:2621-2624, 1977)