ELECTRICAL STORMS AND THEIR PROGNOSTIC IMPLICATIONS
AbstractBackground: Prevention of sudden cardiac death has always been a challenge for electrophysiologistsand to date, automatic implantable cardiovertor defibrillator (AICD) is found to be the only remedy.This device delivers an intracardiac shock whenever it senses a fatal ventricular arrhythmia in order toachieve sinus rhythm. If the delivery of these intracardiac shocks becomes frequent, the situation isdeclared as an electrical storm. This article deals with the frequency, precipitating factors andprevention of electrical storms. Methods: One hundred and ten episodes of electrical storms (a total of668 shocks) were retrospectively analysed in 25 recipients of automatic implantable cardioverterdefibrillators. ECG, echocardiography, serum electrolytes, urea and creatinine were done for all thepatients, and they were hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours. Results: During the 3 year studyperiod, all the 25 patients with an implantable cardiovertor defibrillator, on an average, received oneshock per two years. However, 12 out of these 25 patients (50%) had more than two shocks within 24hours. Most of these patients with electrical storms were having active ischemia, electrolytesimbalances or renal failure. Conclusion: Electrical storms are common in patients with coronary arterydisease with impaired left ventricular functions. Ischemia, electrolytes imbalances and renal failurepredispose to the electrical storms. Electrical Storms are predictors of poor prognosis.Keywords: Electrical Storm (ES), Automatic Implantable Cardiovertor Defibrillator (AICD),Ventricular Tachycardia (VT), Ventricular Fibrillation (VF)
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