Ventricular arrhythmias in postoperative tetralogy of Fallot

Jay S. Chandar, Grace S. Wolff, Arthur Garson, Timothy J. Bell, Stanley D. Beder, Margreet Bink-Boelkens, Craig J. Byrum, Robert M. Campbell, Barbara J. Deal, Macdonald Dick, Celia J. Flinn, Winston E. Gaum, Paul C. Gillette, Allan J. Hordof, John D. Kugler, Co burn J Porter, Edward P. Walsh

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175 Scopus citations


Ventricular arrhythmias in patients after total surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot have been associated with late sudden death. In this large multicenter retrospective study of 359 patients with postoperative tetralogy of Fallot, spontaneous ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) on 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring and laboratory-induced ventricular tachycardia (VT) by electrophysiologic stimulation were analyzed. The mean age at surgical repair was 5 years and the mean follow-up duration after repair was 7 years. Spontaneous VPCs on ambulatory monitoring were found in 48% and induced VT on electrophysiologic stimulation was found in 17% of patients. Both spontaneous VPCs and induced VT were significantly related to delayed age at repair, longer follow-up interval, symptoms of syncope or presyncope and right ventricular systolic hypertension (> 60 mm Hg) (p < 0.05), but not to right ventricular diastolic pressure > 8 mm Hg. The VPCs on ambulatory monitoring were more complex with increasing age at repair and follow-up duration. Induction of VT on electrophysiologic stimulation correlated with spontaneous VPCs including VT on 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring. The electrophysiologic stimulation protocol varied and the induction of VT increased with a more aggressive stimulation protocol. While induced sustained monomorphic VT was related to all forms of spontaneous VPCs, induced nonsustained polymorphic VT was related to more complex forms of VPCs on ambulatory monitoring. VT was not induced in asymptomatic patients who had normal 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring and normal right ventricular systolic pressure. Late sudden death occurred in 5 patients, most of whom had spontaneous VPCs on ambulatory monitoring and right ventricular diastolic pressure > 8mm Hg, but none had induced VT with a nonaggressive electrophysiologic protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-661
Number of pages7
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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