The electrophysiological effects of the intravenous administration of a new antiarrhythmic drug, lorcainide, were evaluated by programmed electrical stimulation of the heart in 23 patients with atrioventricular conduction disturbances (four patients), ventricular tachycardia (five patients), and accessory atrioventricular pathway (14 patients). Lorcainide did not affect the refractory period of the atrium, ventricle, atrioventricular node, or the AH interval. It lengthened the duration of the HV interval, the refractory period of the accessory pathway, and the width of the QRS complex. The drug terminated ventricular tachycardia in four of five patients. It is concluded that the drug may be of potential benefit in patients with ventricular tachycardia or accessory atrioventricular pathways (especially those with a short refractory period). Lorcainide is contraindicated in patients with bundle-branch block and prolonged HV interval.
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