Ashok Garg

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States

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Publications (7)13.2 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Conventionally, the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is tested at implantation by measurement of defibrillation threshold (DFT), which involves repeated induction of ventricular fibrillation (VF). We report our data on successful ICD implantation without VF induction using a modified upper limit of vulnerability (ULV) testing method, compared to standard DFT testing. Fourteen patients underwent ICD implantation using a modified ULV testing method by delivering a 15 J shock during the vulnerable period on the peak of the T wave, and if VF was not induced 15 J shocks were repeated at -20 and -40 msec before the peak of T wave. Failure to induce VF, indicating a ULV <15 joules (J), suggested a DFT < or =20 J based on previous studies demonstrating a close correlation (+/-5 J) between ULV and DFT. If VF was induced, a 20 J rescue shock was delivered. ICD therapy was then programmed on the basis of ULV testing. All patients underwent pre-discharge DFT testing to confirm adequate DFT. Using a modified ULV testing method, ICD implantation was completed without induction of VF in 8 patients and only a single episode of VF in 6 patients. The mean number of VF episodes (0.42 +/- 0.5) induced with ULV testing was significantly lower (p <.001) than the number induced during DFT testing (3.9 +/- 0.8). Pre-discharge DFT testing did not alter ICD programming in any patient. During follow-up of 14.85 +/- 12.31 months, three patients had seven episodes of VT/VF, six of whom were converted with the programmed first-shock strength, while one required a second high-energy shock to convert. This patient had a pre-discharge DFT of 10 joules. Successful ICD implantation can be safely performed with no or fewer episodes of VF induction using a modified ULV testing method.
    Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology 02/2003; 8(1):71-5. · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are now an accepted and effective therapy for treatment of survivors of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and prevention of SCD in high-risk patients. Normal ICD function and delivery of therapy depends on appropriate sensing and detection of myocardial electrical potentials. Electromagnetic interference resulting in ICD malfunction is a well-documented phenomenon, however, there are less well-known external sources of interference, which may cause life threatening ICD malfunction. We report a unique case of repeated inappropriate ICD shocks in a ten-year old boy caused by the ICD sensing alternating current from an unexpected external source.
    Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology 11/2002; 7(2):181-4. · 1.39 Impact Factor
  • Ashok Garg, Gregory K. Feld
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    ABSTRACT: Atrial flutter (AFl) is an arrhythmia resulting from reentry in a macroreentrant circuit, most commonly in the right atrium. Typical AFl uses the narrow isthmus of right atrial tissue between the tricuspid valve annulus and the inferior vena cava orifice as part of the macroreentrant circuit. The treatment of AFl is directed toward achieving the following four goals. 1) In the presence of AFl, adequate rate control is required, which can be achieved in most but not all patients by oral or intravenous digoxin, calcium channel blockers, or beta-blockers, alone or in combination. 2) Anticoagulation with warfarin should be considered in patients with recurrent AFl, especially those over 70 years of age, and those with a history of atrial fibrillation, stroke, or structural heart disease. 3) Conversion to sinus rhythm can be achieved in up to 70% of patients with intravenous ibutilide, but this should be reserved for patients with either normal hearts or only mild left ventricular dysfunction. Direct-current cardioversion is nearly 100% effective and is ideal for patients with left ventricular dysfunction. 4) Long-term maintenance of sinus rhythm may be achieved in up to 50% to 60% of patients by using antiarrhythmic drugs, including sotalol, amiodarone, dofetilide, propafenone, and flecainide, but with the potential for causing significant proarrhythmia and side effects. Radiofrequency catheter ablation may cure over 90% of patients with type 1 AFl (using the tricuspid valve to inferior vena cava isthmus), and from 70% to 90% of patients with atypical AFl. Newer mapping techniques, such as electroanatomic mapping, are likely to further reduce procedure time and improve success rates.
    Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine 09/2001; 3(4):277-289.
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    ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is often refractory to antiarrhythmic drugs, and patients who are intolerant of AF may require the maze operation for cure. As a less invasive alternative, a catheter-based, right atrial compartmentalization procedure was evaluated. Twelve patients with AF refractory to Class I and III antiarrhythmic drugs were studied. Four linear right atrial radiofrequency ablations were performed, from superior to inferior vena cava in the posterior wall and interatrial septum, anteriorly from the superior vena cava to the tricuspid annulus through the appendage, and across the tricuspid valve-inferior vena cava isthmus. The radiofrequency catheter was dragged along each line three to four times, until the atrial electrogram amplitude decreased by 75% and there was bidirectional conduction block in the tricuspid valve-inferior vena cava isthmus. One complication occurred: sinus node dysfunction requiring a pacemaker. Eight patients were discharged from the hospital on no antiarrhythmic drugs, and four were discharged on previously ineffective antiarrhythmic drugs. Total duration of follow-up was 21.3 +/- 11.2 months. Four patients discharged on previously ineffective antiarrhythmic drugs had no recurrence of AF. One patient discharged off antiarrhythmic drugs had no recurrence of AF. Seven patients discharged off antiarrhythmic drugs had recurrent AF by 12.6 +/- 13.0 months (median 6, range 1 to 39); 3 of these 7 responded to previously ineffective antiarrhythmic drugs without further AF and 4 did not. Thus, 8 of 12 patients (67%) had suppression of AF after ablation on previously ineffective medication or no medication. Right atrial compartmentalization may alter the substrate for AF, thus improving the efficacy of previously ineffective antiarrhythmic drugs. Because it is relatively safe, it may be a reasonable adjunctive intervention to maintain sinus rhythm in patients with drug-refractory AF.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 07/1999; 10(6):763-71. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac arrhythmias are a major cause for emergency department evaluation in the United States each year. The article discusses the evaluation and management of the common supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias encountered in emergency practice. The approach to bradydysrhythmias is also reviewed. (C) 1998 Aspen Publishers, Inc.
    Advanced emergency nursing journal 08/1998; 20(3).
  • A Garg, W Finneran, G K Feld
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    ABSTRACT: A case is presented of an 18-year-old male who had been resuscitated following an episode of sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation. The patient was noted to have an abnormal deflection in the terminal QRS on surface ECG and an abnormal signal-averaged ECG demonstrating a late potential coincident with the terminal QRS abnormality on the ECG. The patient had easily inducible polymorphic ventricular tachycardia during electrophysiologic study, which was suppressed by quinidine but not by procainamide or beta blockers. The surface ECG and signal-averaged ECG also were normalized by quinidine but not by procainamide or beta blockers. The patient had no further arrhythmias on quinidine for 6 years until he inexplicably discontinued his medication and died suddenly shortly thereafter. The present case may represent a unique familial sudden death syndrome or possibly a variant of the sudden death syndrome associated with right bundle branch block and ST elevation in V1 through V3. Currently available data suggest that, in such patients, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator may provide better protection from sudden death than does antiarrhythmic drug therapy.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 07/1998; 9(6):642-7. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Familial Sudden Death and ECG Abnormalities. A case is presented of an 18-year-old male who had been resuscitated following an episode of sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation. The patient was noted to have an abnormal deflection in the terminal QRS on surface ECG and an abnormal signal-averaged KCG demonstrating a late potential coincident with the terminal QRS abnormality on the ECG. The patient had easily inducible polymorphic ventricular tachycardia during electrophysiologic study, which was suppressed by quinidine but not by procainamide or beta blockers. The surface ECG and signal-averaged ECG also were normalized by quinidine but not by procainamide or beta blockers. The patient had no further arrhythmias on quinidine for 6 years until he inexplicably discontinued his medication and died suddenly shortly thereafter. The present case may represent a unique familial sudden death syndrome or possibly a variant of the sudden death syndrome associated with right bundle branch block and ST elevation in V1, through V3, Currently available data suggest that, in such patients, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator may provide better protection from sudden death than does antiarrhythmic drug therapy.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 01/1998; 9(6):642-647. · 3.48 Impact Factor