The clinical efficacy of intravenous amiodarone in terminating sustained ventricular tachycardia and in preventing recurrences of ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation was evaluated in 26 patients. All of them presented with organic heart disease accompanied by depressed left ventricular function. Intravenous amiodarone terminated spontaneous ventricular tachycardia in eight of 19 patients. Fifteen of the 26 patients had had at least one episode of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation each day in the period immediately before the intravenous administration of amiodarone. Amiodarone controlled ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation in nine of these 15 patients; in three further cases it was successful when supplemented by additional administration of a previously ineffective antiarrhythmic drug and ventricular pacing. Two patients died despite these measures. In one, the amiodarone infusion had to be stopped because of an arrhythmogenic effect. Sustained deterioration of haemodynamic function or of pre-existing intraventricular conduction disturbances was never seen. Intravenous amiodarone was effective in terminating sustained ventricular tachycardia and in preventing frequent episodes of ventricular arrhythmia that were refractory to other antiarrhythmic drugs.
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