Ugeskr Læger 2008;170(25):2238-2242
Summary Ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients with cardiomyopathy Ugeskr Læger 2008;170(25):2238-2242 Introduction: The purpose of this study was to determine the number and distribution of cardiomyopathies as the aetiology of ventricular tachyarrhythmias among patients discharged from the Department of Cardiology, Rigshospitalet. Materials and methods: The study was a retrospective review of patients discharged with the diagnostic codes ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation or premature ventricular contractions with cardiomyopathy as the presumed aetiology. Patients discharged during a period of 6 years and 5 months were included in the study. The patients were characterized by disease, gender, age, previous cardiac arrest and treatment with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Results: 993 patients were screened and 128 patients with cardiomyopathy were identified, corresponding to 13% of the screened patients. 58 (45%) of the patients had dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), 57 (45%) patients had arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) and 13 (10%) had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The average age was 44 years for HCM, 41 years for ARVC and 58 years for DCM. The majority of the patients were male. ICD treatment was used in 95% of the patients with ARVC, 70% of the patients with HCM and 59% of the patients with DCM. Only 5 patients had previous cardiac arrest without reversible cause. Conclusion: The study shows that cardiomyopathies are relatively frequent causes of ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients discharged from a specialised cardiology department. Implantation of an ICD device has a central position in the treatment of patients with cardiomyopathy and ventricular tachyarrythmias and is primarily used as a prophylactic treatment.