[Skip to Navigation]
February 1991

Ventricular Tachycardia During Routine Treadmill Testing: Risk and Prognosis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Cardiology, Long Beach (Calif) Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(2):349-353. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400020099020

Exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia during exercise testing is considered to increase risk during testing. Moreover, exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia has been considered to confer a poor prognosis although this has not been specifically studied. On a retrospective review of 3351 patients who had undergone routine clinical exercise testing between September 1984 and June 1989, we identified 55 patients with exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia. The mean follow-up was 26 months (range, 2 to 58 months). Fifty patients had nonsustained ventricular tachycardia during exercise testing and one of these patients died due to congestive heart failure during the follow-up period. Five patients had sustained ventricular tachycardia during exercise testing and one died suddenly 7 months after the test. Ventricular tachycardia was reproduced in only two of the 29 patients who underwent repeated exercise testing. Ventricular tachycardia during routine clinical exercise testing occurred rarely (prevalence of 1.5%) and was not associated with complications during testing. The total mortality in the exercise-induced ventricular tachycardia group (3.6%) was not significantly different from the mortality in the entire population (5.1%). Nonsustained ventricular tachycardia occurring during clinical exercise testing is not an independent marker of a poor prognosis.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:349-353)