[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is the standard of care in patients with ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy who are at high risk for arrhythmic events and sudden cardiac death. Although an ICD saves life, ICD shocks are emotionally and physically debilitating. Most patients receive adjuvant antiarrhythmic drug therapy to circumvent episodes of recurrent ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmias. Antiarrhythmic drugs including b-blockers, sotalol, amiodarone, and azimilide are effective at reducing the shock burden. This article describes data supporting the need for and potential risks and benefits of adjuvant antiarrhythmic drug therapy and examines the benefits and pitfalls of the same in ICD-implanted patients.
Heart Failure Clinics 04/2011; 7(2):195-205, viii.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A gain of function mutation N588K in the KCNH2 gene that encodes HERG channels has been shown to underlie the SQT1 form of short QT syndrome (SQTS). We describe a different mutation in the KCNH2 gene in a Chinese family with clinical evidence of SQTS. A Chinese family with a markedly short QT interval (QTc=316 ± 9 ms, n=4) and a strong family history of sudden death was investigated. Analysis of candidate genes contributing to ventricular repolarization identified a C1853T mutation in the KCNH2 gene coding for the HERG channel, resulting in an amino acid change (T618I) that was found to 100% co-segregate with the SQTS phenotype (n=4). Whole cell voltage clamp studies of the T618I mutation in HEK-cells demonstrated a 6-fold increase in maximum steady state current (146.1 ± 16.7 vs 23.8 ± 5.5 pA/pF) that occurred at a 20 mV more positive potential compared to the wild type channels. The voltage dependence of inactivation was significantly shifted in the positive voltage direction (WT -78.6 ± 6.8 vs T618I -29.3 ± 1.7 mV). Kinetic analysis revealed slower inactivation rates of T618I but faster rates of recovery from inactivation. Quinidine (5 μM) and sotalol (500 μM) had similar inhibitory effects on steady currents measured at +20 mV in WT and T618I but were less effective in inhibiting tail currents of mutant channels. The altered function of T618I-HERG channels suggests that this mutation in the KCNH2 gene is responsible for the SQTS phenotype in this family. Both quinidine and sotalol may be therapeutic options for patients with the T618I HERG mutation.
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 03/2011; 50(3):433-41. · 5.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. Although once considered a nuisance arrhythmia, recent clinical trial evidence suggests that the presence of AF is an important independent predictor of mortality and morbidity. The primary goals of AF treatment are relief of symptoms and prevention of stroke. The value of anticoagulation with warfarin has been proven unequivocally. Control of ventricular rate with atrioventricular nodal blocking agents-the so-called rate control strategy-is least cumbersome and sometimes the best approach. By contrast, efforts to restore and maintain sinus rhythm using antiarrhythmic drugs-the rhythm control approach-although tedious, may be ideal in patients who are young or highly symptomatic and in those with new-onset AF. The relative merits of both treatment strategies are discussed in this article, emphasizing the excellent clinical trial data that support each.
Current problems in cardiology 03/2011; 36(3):87-120. · 3.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Short QT Syndrome is a recently recognized inherited channelopathy responsible for sudden cardiac death (SCD) in individuals
with a structurally normal heart. It is characterized by abnormally short QTc interval (<360 msec) on the electrocardiogram
seen in conjunction with a family history of atrial and/or ventricular fibrillation. It is a genetically heterogeneous disease
with mutations in five different genes encoding cardiac ion channels linked to familial or sporadic cases. Based on the chronology
of discovery, gain-of-function mutations in KCNH2, KCNQ1, and KCNJ2 have been labeled SQT1, SQT2 and SQT3, respectively. In addition, loss-of-function mutations in two calcium channel genes
CACNA1C and CACNB2B have been linked to a new clinical entity characterized by a SQTS and Brugada syndrome phenotype. These have been designated
as SQT4 and SQT5, respectively. SCD is a common presenting symptom and has been reported as early as the first year of life,
suggesting that SQTS may be responsible for some cases of sudden infant death. Amplified transmural dispersion of repolarization
along with abbreviation of the refractory period is thought to underlie the cellular basis for arrhythmogenesis in SQTS. Implantation
of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator is recommended for both primary and secondary prevention of SCD. Data regarding
a pharmacologic approach to therapy are limited, but quinidine has been identified as being of benefit. This chapter provides
an overview of the available literature.
KeywordsShort QT syndrome-sudden cardiac death-sudden infant death syndrome-atrial fibrillation-idiopathic ventricular tachycardia-syncope-channelopathy-transmural dispersion of repolarization-QT interval-
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug-induced torsades de pointes (TdP) often occurs during bradycardia due to reverse use-dependence. We tested the hypothesis that inhibition or enhancement of late sodium current (I(Na,L) ) could modulate the drug-induced reverse use-dependence in QT and T(p-e) (an index of dispersion of repolarization), and therefore the liability for TdP.
Arterially perfused rabbit left ventricular wedge preparations were used. Action potentials from the endocardium were recorded simultaneously with a transmural ECG. The effects of Anemonia sulcata toxin (ATX-II) (an I(Na,L) enhancer), d,l-sotalol, clarithromycin and ranolazine (an I(Na,L) blocker) on rate-dependent changes in QT, T(p-e) and proarrhythmic events were tested, either alone or in combination. Rate-dependent QT and T(p-e) slopes and TdP score (a combined index of TdP liability) were calculated at control and during drug infusion.
ATX-II (30 nM) and sotalol (300 µM) caused a marked increase in QT and T(p-e) intervals, steeper QT-basic cycle length (BCL) and T(p-e) -BCL slopes (i.e. reverse use-dependence), and TdP. Addition of ranolazine (15 µM) to ATX-II or sotalol significantly attenuated QT-BCL, T(p-e) -BCL slopes and the increased TdP scores. In contrast, clarithromycin (100 µM) moderately prolonged QT and T(p-e) without causing R-on-T extrasystole or TdP, but addition of ATX-II (1 nM) to clarithromycin markedly amplified the QT-BCL and T(p-e) -BCL slopes and further increased TdP score.
Modulation of I(Na,L) altered drug-induced reverse use-dependence related to QT as well as T(p-e) , indicating that inhibition of I(Na,L) can markedly reduce the TdP liability of agents that prolong QT intervals.
British Journal of Pharmacology 12/2010; 164(2):308-16. · 5.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac arrhythmias occur in approximately 5.3% of the population and contribute substantially to morbidity and mortality. Pharmacological therapy still remains the major approach in management of patients with nearly every form of cardiac arrhythmia. Effective and safe management of cardiac arrhythmias with antiarrhythmic drugs requires understanding of basic mechanisms for various cardiac arrhythmias, clinical diagnosis of an arrhythmia and identification of underlying cardiac diseases, pharmacokinetics, and antiarrhythmic properties of each individual antiarrhythmic drug. Most cardiac arrhythmias occur via one of the two mechanisms: abnormal impulse formation and reentry or both. Antiarrhythmic drugs primarily work via influencing cardiac automaticity or triggered activity or by their effects on effective refractoriness of cardiac cells. Proarrhythmic effects of antiarrhythmic drugs are also briefly discussed in this review article.
Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 10/2009; 32(11):1454-65. · 1.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arrhythmic risk stratification in patients with Brugada syndrome remains controversial. Several recent reports have highlighted the possible role of late potential (LP) on the signal-averaged electrocardiogram (SAECG) as a noninvasive risk stratification tool in Brugada syndrome, but further prospective study is required before its general applicability.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of LP in arrhythmic risk stratification of Brugada syndrome patients.
Forty-three patients with Brugada syndrome were enrolled and divided into a symptomatic group (group A, n = 24) and an asymptomatic group (group B, n = 19). SAECG was performed to analyze the characteristics of LP in all subjects. The prospective study was conducted to observe the occurrence of arrhythmic events.
LP was positive in 22 (91.7%) of 24 patients in the symptomatic group and in 7 (36.8%) of 19 patients in the asymptomatic group. During mean follow-up of 33.8 +/- 9.0 months, the incidence rate of arrhythmic events was 72.4% (21/29) in LP-positive [LP(+)] patients compared with 14.3% (2/14) in LP-negative [LP(-)] patients. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analyses revealed that the presence of LP had the most significant hazard ratio of 10.9 (95% confidence interval 1.1-104.3, P = .038), with sensitivity of 95.7%, specificity 65.0%, positive predictive value 75.9%, negative predictive value 92.9%, and predictive accuracy 81.4%. Kaplan-Meier curves plotted for event-free survival according to LP showed a significant difference between LP(+) and LP(-) patients (log rank, P = .003).
The results of this study support the role of LP detected by SAECG in arrhythmic risk stratification of Brugada syndrome patients.
Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 09/2009; 6(8):1156-62. · 4.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amiodarone is the most effective antiarrhythmic drug for maintaining sinus rhythm for patients with atrial fibrillation. Extra-cardiac side effects have been a limiting factor, especially during chronic use, and may offset its benefits. Dronedarone is a noniodinated benzofuran derivative of amiodarone that has been developed for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Similar to amiodarone, dronedarone is a potent blocker of multiple ion currents, including the rapidly activating delayed-rectifier potassium current, the slowly activating delayed-rectifier potassium current, the inward rectifier potassium current, the acetylcholine activated potassium current, peak sodium current, and L-type calcium current, and exhibits antiadrenergic effects. It has been studied for maintenance of sinus rhythm and control of ventricular response during episodes of atrial fibrillation. Dronedarone reduces mortality and morbidity in patients with high-risk atrial fibrillation, but may be unsafe in those with severe heart failure. This article will review evidence of safety and effectiveness of dronedarone in patients with atrial fibrillation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gap junctions contribute to the transmural heterogeneity of repolarization in the normal heart and under conditions of prolonged QT interval in the diseased heart. This study examined whether enhancing of gap junction coupling can reduce transmural dispersion of repolarization (TDR) and prevent torsade de pointes (TdP) in a canine LQT2 model. Canine left ventricular wedge preparations were perfused with delayed rectifier potassium current (IKr) blocker d-sotalol to mimic LQT2 and the antiarrhythmic peptide 10 (AAP10) was used as a gap junction coupling enhancer. As compared with the control group, the LQT2 group had significantly augmented TDR and higher incidence of TdP associated with increased nonphosphorylated connexin 43 (Cx43). AAP10 prevented augmentation of TDR and induction of TdP while rescuing Cx43 phosphorylation. There was no significant change in the quantity and spatial distribution of Cx43. These data indicate that gap junction enhancer AAP10 can prevent augmentation of TDR and suppress TdP by preventing dephosphorylation of Cx43 in a LQT2 model.
Cell Communication & Adhesion 08/2009; 16(1-3):29-38. · 1.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the role of ventricular repolarization sequence in ventricular diastolic function.
Arterially perfused canine left ventricular wedge preparation with simultaneous recording of action potentials and isometric contractile force was used to establish the relationship between ventricular repolarization and relaxation sequences. An isolated rabbit working heart model was used to investigate role of ventricular repolarization sequence in ventricular diastolic function. Under controlled conditions, similar to transmural dispersion of repolarization (TDR), there existed a time difference between initiation of epicardial and endocardial relaxation (TR(Epi-Endo), 47.4 +/- 13.9 ms) with epicardium relaxing earlier. There was a strong correlation between TDR and TR(Epi-Endo) (r(2) = 0.99, n = 5) and the interventions that changed transmural repolarization sequence led to parallel changes in transmural relaxation sequence. In isolated rabbit working hearts, reversal of the transmural repolarization sequence that manifested as negative T wave was associated with a significant increase in isovolumic relaxation time (from 49.2 +/- 19.1 to 76.4 +/- 12.1 ms, n = 5, P = 0.001).
There is a strong correlation between transmural repolarization and relaxation sequences. A positive T wave that denotes transmural repolarization sequence from epicardium to endocardium is essential for normal diastolic function of ventricle and the reversal of such sequence is associated with ventricular diastolic dysfunction.
European Heart Journal 02/2009; 30(3):372-80. · 14.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increasing number of basic and clinical studies have suggested that the interval from the peak to the end of the electrocardiographic T wave (T(p-e)) may correspond to the transmural dispersion of repolarization and that amplification of the T(p-e) interval is associated with malignant ventricular arrhythmias. In this review, we outline the utility of the T(p-e) interval and the T(p-e)/QT ratio as an electrocardiographic index of arrhythmogenesis for both congenital and acquired ion channel disease leading to ventricular arrhythmias. In healthy individuals, the T(p-e)/QT ratio has a mean value of approximately 0.21 in the precordial leads and it remains relatively constant between the heart rates from 60 to 100 beats per minute. Interestingly, the T(p-e)/QT ratio is significantly greater in the patients at risk for arrhythmic event such as those with long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome, short QT syndrome, and also in patients with organic heart disease such as acute myocardial infarction. Functional reentry is the underlying mechanism for arrhythmogenesis associated with an increased T(p-e)/QT ratio.
Journal of electrocardiology 10/2008; 41(6):567-74. · 1.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T-wave alternans, characterized by a beat-to-beat change in T-wave morphology, amplitude, and/or polarity on the ECG, often heralds the development of lethal ventricular arrhythmias in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). The aim of our study was to examine the ionic basis for a beat-to-beat change in ventricular repolarization in the setting of LVH. Transmembrane action potentials (APs) from epicardium and endocardium were recorded simultaneously, together with transmural ECG and contraction force, in arterially perfused rabbit left ventricular wedge preparation. APs and Ca(2+)-activated chloride current (I(Cl,Ca)) were recorded from left ventricular myocytes isolated from normal rabbits and those with renovascular LVH using the standard microelectrode and whole cell patch-clamping techniques, respectively. In the LVH rabbits, a significant beat-to-beat change in endocardial AP duration (APD) created beat-to-beat alteration in transmural voltage gradient that manifested as T-wave alternans on the ECG. Interestingly, contraction force alternated in an opposite phase ("out of phase") with APD. In the single myocytes of LVH rabbits, a significant beat-to-beat change in APD was also observed in both left ventricular endocardial and epicardial myocytes at various pacing rates. APD alternans was suppressed by adding 1 microM ryanodine, 100 microM 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS), and 100 microM 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (SITS). The density of the Ca(2+)-activated chloride currents (I(Cl,Ca)) in left ventricular myocytes was significantly greater in the LVH rabbits than in the normal group. Our data indicate that abnormal intracellular Ca(2+) fluctuation may exert a strong feedback on the membrane I(Cl,Ca), leading to a beat-to-beat change in the net repolarizing current that manifests as T-wave alternans on the ECG.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inherited channelopathies have received increasing attention in recent years. The past decade has witnessed impressive progress in our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of arrhythmogenesis associated with inherited channelopathies. An imbalance in ionic forces induced by these channelopathies affects the duration of ventricular repolarization and amplifies the intrinsic electrical heterogeneity of the myocardium, creating an arrhythmogenic milieu. Today, many of the channelopathies have been linked to mutations in specific genes encoding either components of ion channels or membrane or regulatory proteins. Many of the channelopathies are genetically heterogeneous with a variable degree of expression of the disease. Defining the molecular basis of channelopathies can have a profound impact on patient management, particularly in cases in which genotype-specific pharmacotherapy is available. The long QT syndrome (LQTS) is one of the first identified and most studied channelopathies where abnormal prolongation of ventricular repolarization predisposes an individual to life threatening ventricular arrhythmia called Torsade de Pointes. On the other hand of the spectrum, molecular defects favoring premature repolarization lead to Short QT syndrome (SQTS), a recently described inherited channelopathy. Both of these channelopathies are associated with a high risk of sudden cardiac death due to malignant ventricular arrhythmia. Whereas pharmacological therapy is first line treatment for LQTS, defibrillators are considered as primary treatment for SQTS. This review provides a comprehensive review of the molecular genetics, clinical features, genotype-phenotype correlations and genotype-specific approach to pharmacotherapy of these two mirror-image channelopathies, SQTS and LQTS.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Short QT syndrome (SQTS) is a primary electrical disease of the heart associated with a high risk of sudden cardiac death. A gain-of-function in I(Kr), due to a mutation in KCNH2, underlies SQT1.
This study sought to examine the cellular basis for arrhythmogenesis in an experimental model of SQT1 created using PD-118057, a novel I(Kr) agonist.
Transmembrane action potentials were simultaneously recorded from epicardial, M, and endocardial regions of arterially perfused canine left ventricular (LV) wedge preparations, together with a pseudo-electrocardiogram.
PD-118057 (10 micromol/l) abbreviated the QT interval from 267 +/- 4 to 232 +/- 4 ms and increased transmural dispersion of repolarization (TDR) from 33.7 +/- 2.0 to 49.1 +/- 3.1 ms (P <.001). T-wave amplitude increased from 18.0% +/- 1.4% to 23.1% +/- 1.7% of R-wave amplitude (P =.027). Reversing the direction of activation of the LV wall (epicardial pacing) resulted in an increase in QT interval from 269 +/- 5 to 282 +/- 5 ms and an increase in TDR from 34.1 +/- 2.0 to 57.6 +/- 3.3 ms (P <.001) under baseline conditions. PD-118057 abbreviated the QT interval from 282 +/- 5 to 258 +/- 5 ms and produced a proportional decrease in effective refractory period (ERP). TDR increased from 57.6 +/- 3.3 to 77.6 +/- 4.3 ms (P <.001). Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (pVT) was induced in 10 of 20 preparations with a single S(2) applied to epicardium. Quinidine (10 micromol/l) increased the ERP and QT interval, did not significantly alter TDR, and prevented induction of pVT in 5 of 5 preparations.
Our results suggest that a combination of ERP abbreviation and TDR amplification underlie the development of pVT in SQT1 and that quinidine prevents pVT principally by prolonging ERP.
Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 04/2008; 5(4):585-90. · 4.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug-induced torsade de pointes (TdP) is a rare but lethal side effect of many cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular drugs. It has led to black box warnings or even withdrawal of many useful compounds from the market and is one of the major stumbling blocks for new drug development. The critical need for a better test that can predict the TdP liability of a candidate drug has led to the development of multiple preclinical models. Each of these models has it own merits and limitations in preclinical testing for TdP liability; however, most of these models have not been adequately validated, so their precise sensitivity and specificity remain largely unknown. Recent blinded validation studies have demonstrated that the rabbit left ventricular wedge preparation can predict drug-induced TdP with an extremely high sensitivity and specificity. As a matter of fact, the wedge technique was initially developed primarily for studying the electrical heterogeneity of myocardium and the cellular basis of QT prolongation and TdP. Naturally then, the electrophysiological data obtained from the wedge takes into account every critical factor associated with the development of TdP. The TdP scores generated using the wedge technique have been shown to assess the torsadogenic potential of the drugs in a predictable fashion. This review elaborates on the current and prospective role of the rabbit left ventricular wedge preparation in preclinical assessment of drug-induced proarrhythmias including but not limited to TdP.