Rapid uniform ventricular tachycardia (VT) (> 270 beats/min) or ventricular flutter induced during electrophysiological studies is thought not to be clinically significant in patients without cardiac arrest or documented rapid VT. The purpose of the study was to follow up 73 patients with inducible ventricular flutter but without confirmed rapid spontaneous VT. A long follow up (mean 3.5 years) identified two groups of patients. The first group had an excellent outcome and was characterised by a normal 24 hour Holter monitoring. In the second group, however, the risk of cardiac mortality was high (35%) and spontaneous VT was < 270 beats/min (26%) and was characterised by couplets or salvos of extrasystoles on Holter monitoring. In this group the history of syncope and decreased left ejection fraction increased the risk of mortality and VT. The presence of late potentials increased the risk of spontaneous VT. Electrophysiologically guided antiarrhythmic therapy reduced the risk of VT. Ventricular flutter was a non-specific finding in patients with normal Holter monitoring. In contrast, in patients with salvos of extrasystoles, ventricular flutter was associated with a high risk of cardiac mortality and VT.
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