Of 7,915 patients undergoing coronary angiography from 1978 to 1983, 39 (25 men and 14 women with a mean age of 57 years [range 37 to 79]) had sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) during the procedure. Nine patients had atypical chest pain and 30 had typical angina. Fifteen had had a previous myocardial infarction. One patient had a history of VT or VF. Electrocardiograms taken at rest revealed a prolonged QT interval in 14. A normal ejection fraction was found in 79%. Coronary angiography revealed that 10 patients had 3-vessel disease, 15 had 1- or 2-vessel disease and 14 had normal coronary arteries. The VT or VF was seen with injection of contrast medium into the right coronary artery in 24, the left coronary artery in 10 and vein bypass grafts in 5 patients. Of the episodes of VT or VF, 67% occurred after injection of contrast medium into a minimally diseased coronary artery. In patients in whom VT or VF occurred after injection into a minimally diseased coronary artery, the arrhythmia was preceded by bradycardia, usually with pronounced widening of the QRS and QT intervals. This response was significantly different from that in patients in whom VT or VF occurred after injection into a coronary artery with significant stenosis; in these patients, VT or VF was initiated by a single premature ventricular contraction on a T wave. VT or VF was successfully cardioverted in all instances, without further arrhythmias.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine