Antiarrhythmic drugs are known to affect depolarization and repolarization time in a different fashion. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of sotalol, flecainide and propafenone on some common (mean QT and QTc, mean JT and JTc), or uncommon (QTc dispersion, T-peak to T-end interval-Tp-Te) electrocardiographic parameters in order to evaluate the effects of these antiarrhythmic drugs on repolarization time. QTc dispersion, defined as the difference between maximum and minimum QTc calculated from the standard 12 ECG leads, and the average Tp-Te interval, reflect regional variation in ventricular repolarization. We have analyzed retrospectively the standard 12-lead electrocardiograms of 28 patients (15 females and 13 males, age 36.11 +/- 16 years, range 11-67 years), recorded in the free-drug state and at the steady state after oral treatment with sotalol (160 mg/ die), flecainide (200 mg/die) and propafenone (450 mg/die). These drugs were prescribed, separately, for the treatment of patients with supraventricular tachycardia without underlying structural heart disease. Sotalol treatment prolongs ventricular repolarization times (QT, p = 0.0001; JT, p = 0.0001 and JTc, p = 0.0001) in an homogeneous fashion, as showed by the significant decrease in QTc dispersion (p = 0.026) and Tp-Te interval (p = 0.011). On the contrary, flecainide treatment is associated with an increase in QTc dispersion (p = 0.039) and Tp-Te interval (p = 0.0001), mean QT (p = 0.0001), QTc (p = 0.0001) and QRS (p = 0.0001), with no significant changes in JT and JTc (NS). Propafenone treatment does not affect repolarization time indexes, affecting only depolarization time as expressed by an increase in QRS (p = 0.046).
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