Dr. Ruey Jen Sung is Professor Emeritus, Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine. Previously, he served as Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Service at Stanford University Medical Center (Chair, Department of Medicine: the late Professor Edward “Ted” D. Harris, Jr)(1991-2001). He graduated from National Taiwan University (1968), completed Medical Residency at University of Wisconsin (Chair: the late Professor Robert F. Schilling)(1970-72) and Cardiology Fellowship, University of Miami (1972-74). Since then, he has devoted his research endeavors to Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology. He was the first to define the distinct anatomic location of the slow pathway relative to fast pathway conduction in the human atrioventricular (AV) node (1981), the principle of which has provided the basis of selective ablation of slow pathway conduction for curing AV nodal reentrant tachycardia, the most common form of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia in humans. Subsequently, he described electrophysiological characteristics of the three different forms of ventricular tachycardia (i.e., reentry, automaticity, and triggered activity), their modes of initiation and termination, and responses to various pharmacological agents in the Clinical Electrophysiology laboratory (1983, 1988). In 1985, he was promoted to full Professor of Medicine in Residence at the University of California at San Francisco (Chair: the late Professor Lloyd "Holly" Smith, Jr)(1981-91). Between 2001 and 2007, he was recruited to the post of Dean, College of Medicine, and Vice-President, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. Over the past 40 years, he has authored and co-authored 200 original articles and 66 invited chapters and monographs pertaining to mechanisms and treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders. Additionally, he has co-authored a book with the late Dr. Michael R. Lauer, entitled “Fundamental Approaches to the Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias” (2000, dedicated to his early year mentor, the late Professor Agustin Castellanos, Jr. Notably, Dr. Sung is one of the Founders of the Heart Rhythm Foundation and is currently Fellows of the American College of Physicians, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and Heart Rhythm Society.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Director, Pacemaker-Arrhythmia Clinic and Director,Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory, Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami School of Medicine (1975 - 1981)
  • Director, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory, H.C. Moffitt Hospital, University of California at San Francisco (1981 - 1983)
  • Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California at San Francisco (1983 - 1991)
  • Director,Cardiac Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Service, Stanford University Medical Center (1991 - 2001)
  • Director, Center of Biosciences and Biotechnology, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan (2001 - 2003)
  • Vice-president of the University and Dean, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan (2001 - 2007)

Honors & Awards

  • Eminent Cardiologist Award, Asian-Pacific Heart Association (2013)
  • Best paper Award, The 4th CardioRhythm, HongKong (2009)
  • Martin H. Stein Memorial Award, Cardiology Fellowship, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida (1974)
  • Holden Award, Rotating Internship, Bon Secours Hospital, Grosse Pointe, Michigan (1970)
  • Best Internship Award, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University (1968)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Fellow and Founders Club, Heart Rhythm Society (2000 - Present)
  • Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians (1989 - 1995)
  • Fellow, Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association (1977 - Present)
  • Fellow, American College of Physicians (1977 - Present)
  • Fellow, American College of cardiology (1976 - Present)
  • Peer Review Board, UpToDate in Cardiovascular Medicine (2000 - Present)
  • Editorial Board, Korean Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases (2000 - 2010)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of American College of Cardiology (2000 - 2004)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology (1997 - 2003)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Formosan Medical Society (1994 - 2007)
  • Editorial Board, Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy (1994 - 2001)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology (1991 - 1999)
  • Editorial Board, American Heart Journal (1991 - 1996)
  • Editorial Board, Clinical Progress in Pacing and Electrophysiology (1981 - 1989)

Professional Education

  • MD, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University Taipei, Taiwan, Medicine (1968)

Community and International Work

  • Board Member, Wuhan, P.R. China


    Scientific Advisory Board

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Britton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics (BC CBMP), Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST)



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Chair, Scientific Committee, Taipei, Taiwan


    The 16th Asian-Pacific Congress of Cardiology, Taipei, Taiwan

    Partnering Organization(s)

    The Asian-Pacific Congress of Cardiology

    Populations Served




    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Chair, Research Committee, Taiwan


    Taiwan Society of Cardiology, Taiwan

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Chair, Research Committee, Taiwan Society of Cardiology, Taipei, Taiwan



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Clinical and basic cardiac electrophysiology

All Publications

  • Targeting intracellular calcium cycling in catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia: a theoretical investigation AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-HEART AND CIRCULATORY PHYSIOLOGY Sung, R. J., Lo, C., Hsiao, P. Y., Tien, H. 2011; 301 (4): H1625-H1638


    Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is a malignant arrhythmogenic disorder linked to mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) and calsequestrin, predisposing the young to syncope and cardiac arrest. To define the role of β-adrenergic stimulation (BAS) and to identify potential therapeutic targeted sites relating to intracellular calcium cycling, we used a Luo-Rudy dynamic ventricular myocyte model incorporated with interacting Markov models of the L-type Ca(2+) channel (I(Ca,L)) and RyR2 to simulate the heterozygous state of mouse RyR2 R4496C mutation (RyR2(R4496C+/-)) comparable with CPVT patients with RyR2 R4497C mutation. Characteristically, in simulated cells, pacing at 4 Hz or faster or pacing at 2 Hz under BAS with effects equivalent to those of isoproterenol at ≥ 0.1 μM could readily induce delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs) and DAD-mediated triggered activity (TA) in RyR2(R4496C+/-) but not in the wild-type via enhancing both I(Ca,L) and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) ATPase (I(UP)). Moreover, with the use of steady state values of isolated endocardial (Endo), mid-myocardial (M), and epicardial (Epi) cells as initial data for conducting single cell and one-dimensional strand studies, the M cell was more vulnerable for developing DADs and DAD-mediated TA than Endo and Epi cells, and the gap junction coupling represented by diffusion coefficient (D) of ≤ 0.000766*98 cm(2)/ms was required for generating DAD-mediated TA in RyR2(R4496C+/-). Whereas individual reduction of Ca(2+) release channel of SR and Na-Ca exchanger up to 50% was ineffective, 30% or more reduction of either I(Ca,L) or I(UP) could totally suppress the inducibility of arrhythmia under BAS. Of note, 15% reduction of both I(Ca,L) and I(UP) exerted a synergistic antiarrhythmic efficacy. Findings of this model study confirm that BAS facilitates induction of ventricular tachyarrhythmias via its action on intracellular Ca(2+) cycling and a pharmacological regimen capable of reducing I(Ca,L) could be an effective adjunctive to β-adrenergic blockers for suppressing ventricular tachyarrhythmias during CPVT.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpheart.00696.2010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295360100045

    View details for PubMedID 21742998

  • Electrophysiological mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmias in relation to Andersen-Tawil syndrome under conditions of reduced I-K1: a simulation study AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-HEART AND CIRCULATORY PHYSIOLOGY Sung, R. J., Wu, S., Wu, J., Chang, H., Luo, C. 2006; 291 (6): H2597-H2605


    Patients with Andersen-Tawil syndrome (ATS) mostly have mutations on the KCNJ2 gene, producing loss of function or dominant-negative suppression of the inward rectifier K(+) channel Kir2.1. However, clinical manifestations of ATS including dysmorphic features, periodic paralysis (hypo-, hyper-, or normokalemic), long QT, and ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) are considerably variable. Using a modified dynamic Luo-Rudy simulation model of cardiac ventricular myocytes, we attempted to elucidate mechanisms of VA in ATS by analyzing effects of the inward rectifier K(+) channel current (I(K1)) on the action potential (AP). During pacing at 1.0 Hz with extracellular K(+) concentration ([K(+)](o)) at 4.5 mM, a stepwise 10% reduction of Kir2.1 channel conductance progressively prolonged the terminal repolarization phase of the AP along with gradual depolarization of the resting membrane potential (RMP). At 90% reduction, early afterdepolarizations (EADs) became inducible and RMP was depolarized to -52.0 mV (control: -89.8 mV), followed by emergence of spontaneous APs. Both EADs and spontaneous APs were facilitated by a decrease in [K(+)](o) and suppressed by an increase in [K(+)](o). Simulated beta-adrenergic stimulation enhanced delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs) and could also facilitate EADs as well as spontaneous APs in the setting of low [K(+)](o) and reduced Kir2.1 channel conductance. In conclusion, the spectrum of VAs in ATS may include 1) triggered activity mediated by EADs and/or DADs and 2) abnormal automaticity manifested as spontaneous APs. These VAs can be aggravated by a decrease in [K(+)](o) and beta-adrenergic stimulation and may potentially induce torsade de pointes and cause sudden death. In patients with ATS, the hypokalemic form of periodic paralysis should have the highest propensity to VAs, especially during physical activity.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpheart./00393.2006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000241855900010

    View details for PubMedID 16877549

  • Significance of inducible ventricular flutter/fibrillation in risk stratification in patients with coronary artery disease INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CARDIOLOGY Matsushita, T., Chun, S., Liem, L. B., Friday, K. J., Sung, R. J. 2004; 94 (1): 67-71


    Although inducible ventricular fibrillation (VF) has been used as an indication for prophylactic implantation of cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), the significance of inducible VF remains controversial.Among 364 CAD patients who underwent electrophysiologic (EP) study for risk stratification, 23 patients, 12 without any history of VF or cardiac arrest (group A) and 11 with previously documented VF or cardiac arrest (group B), exhibited inducible ventricular flutter (VFL) or VF and subsequently underwent ICD implantation. Additionally, 11 CAD patients without previous VF or cardiac arrest, who had no inducible ventricular tachyarrhythmias but received an ICD, were included for comparison (group C).During 2 years of follow-up, 1 (8%), 5 (45%), and 1 (9%) patients had appropriate ICD shocks in groups A, B, and C, respectively. The survival free from appropriate ICD shocks was significantly lower in group B compared to groups A and C (p<0.05). There were no significant differences in age, sex, ejection fraction (EF), or induction protocol between groups A and B or between groups A and C.In CAD patients with inducible VFL/VF, patients without any history of VF or cardiac arrest had significantly lower incidence of appropriate ICD shocks when compared to those with such clinical events. Conversely, in CAD patients without any history of VF or cardiac arrest, incidence of appropriate ICD shocks was similar regardless of inducible VFL/VF. Inducible VFL/VF is therefore not useful as an indication for prophylactic ICD implantation in this patient population.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijcard.2003.04.008

    View details for PubMedID 14996477

  • Spatial heterogeneity of action potential alternans during global ischemia in the rabbit heart AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-HEART AND CIRCULATORY PHYSIOLOGY Qian, Y. W., Sung, R. J., Lin, S. F., Province, R., Clusin, W. T. 2003; 285 (6): H2722-H2733


    Cardiac ischemia causes beat-to-beat fluctuation in action potential duration (APD) alternans, which leads to T wave alternans and arrhythmias. Occurrence of APD alternans that is out of phase at two sites is especially important, but most APD alternans studies have involved rapid pacing of normal myocardium rather than ischemia. To determine the spatial features of APD alternans during ischemia, blood-perfused rabbit hearts were stained with 4-[beta-[2(di-n-butylamino)-6-napthyl]vinyl]pyridinium (di-4-ANEPPS) and imaged with a high-resolution camera. Hearts were perfused with oxygenated Tyrode solution at 37 degrees C for staining and then switched to a 50:50% blood/Tyrode mixture. Hearts were paced from the right ventricle at 3/s, and made ischemic by stopping flow for 6 min. Images of 10,000 pixels were obtained at 300 frames/s. Motion artifact was controlled by immobilization and by manual selection of undistorted single-pixel records. Upstroke propagation and conduction isochrones were displayed by computerized image processing. APD alternans was demonstrated in six of seven hearts, and was out of phase in different regions of the image in three hearts. The largest spatial variation in the onset of depolarization to 50% repolarization (APD50) was 155%. This caused beat-to-beat reversal of repolarization. An alternans map could be constructed for well-immobilized portions of the image. There were discrete regions of APD alternans separated by a boundary, as occurs with intracellular Ca2+ concentration alternans. Pixels as close together as 1.1 mm showed an APD alternans that was out of phase. The out-of-phase APD alternans was not due to conduction alternans, as shown by upstroke intervals and conduction isochrones. This contrasts with rapid pacing, where a causal relationship appears to exist. These new observations suggest distinct mechanisms for the genesis of arrhythmias during ischemia.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpheart.00369.2003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000186521700056

    View details for PubMedID 12907420

  • Facilitating electrical cardioversion of persistant atrial fibrillation by antiarrhythmic drugs: update on clinical trial results. Cardiac electrophysiology review Sung, R. J. 2003; 7 (3): 300-303


    Results from clinical trials suggest that antiarrhythmic drugs (AD) can facilitate electrical cardioversion (EC) for persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) (duration >48 hours, no spontaneous termination) by suppression of immediate reinitiation of AF following the procedure. Class IC agents may increase the atrial defibrillation threshold (DFT) by significantly reducing the availability of Na+-channel for depolarization. In contrast, class III agents may decrease the atrial DFT by markedly prolonging atrial refractoriness. Among all AD, ibutilide and amoidarone have been shown to be most effective in enhancing the acute outcome of EC. In patients who are over 65 years of age at high risks of stroke (e.g., atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, previous thromboembolism, etc.), the rhythm control strategy offers no survival advantage over the rate control strategy and frequently subjects patients to serious adverse effects of AD therapy. It can not be overemphasized that adequate anticoagulation (INR 2.0-3.0) with warfarin is needed regardless of whichever strategy is chosen unless there are contraindications. On the other hand, in patients who are under 65 years of age without structural heart disease or other risk factors of stroke, rhythm control can be the treatment of choice. Specifically, if a patient has failed EC alone or if the patient has characteristics (e.g., duration of AF >6 months, left atrium >50 mm, etc.) that EC could fail, AD may be given before the procedure to facilitate EC. In the subgroup of patients who are symptomatic with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and severe diastolic dysfunction requiring maintenance of sinus rhythm to have sufficient ventricular function for optimization of cardiac output, an aggressive approach for rhythm control with amiodarone along with adequate anticoagulation with warfarin should be encouraged.

    View details for PubMedID 14739733

  • Limited predictive value of inducible sustained ventricular tachycardia for future occurrence of spontaneous ventricular tachycardia in patients with coronary artery disease and relatively preserved cardiac function JOURNAL OF ELECTROCARDIOLOGY Matsushita, T., Chun, S., Liem, L. B., Friday, K. J., Sung, R. J. 2003; 36 (3): 205-211


    To evaluate the significance of inducible sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with coronary artery disease and relatively preserved cardiac function, 33 patients who met the following criteria were studied; documented nonsustained VT but no history of life-threatening arrhythmia, inducible sustained VT at electrophysiologic study, and implantation of a cardioverter-defibrillator. Eighteen patients developed clinical sustained VT within 2 years. By univariate analysis, left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) and the cycle length of induced VT were associated with clinical VT occurrence. By multivariate analysis, however, EF was the only independent predictor. Among 23 patients with EF 40% (P <.01). In coronary artery disease patients with relatively preserved EF, the incidence of clinical VT is considerably low even though sustained VT is inducible. Inducible VT is therefore not appropriate for risk stratification in this patient population.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S0022-0736(03)00032-3

    View details for PubMedID 12942482

  • Unidirectional conduction block at cavotricuspid isthmus created by radiofrequency catheter ablation in patients with typical atrial flutter JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY Matsushita, T., Chun, S., Liem, L. B., Friday, K. J., Sung, R. J. 2002; 13 (11): 1098-1102


    Although unidirectional conduction block at the cavotricuspid isthmus can be created by radiofrequency ablation for atrial flutter, its underlying mechanism has not been elucidated.Twenty-seven patients (22 men and 5 women; mean age 59 +/- 11 years) who met the following criteria were studied: (1) bidirectional isthmus conduction demonstrable at baseline; (2) at least one linear lesion attempted on the cavotricuspid isthmus with radiofrequency catheter ablation; and (3) conduction times at anterolateral and posteromedial portions of the isthmus measured for both clockwise and counterclockwise directions before the ablation procedure. Unidirectional conduction block was observed before achieving bidirectional block in 9 patients (group I); the remaining 18 patients did not exhibit unidirectional conduction block (group II). All unidirectional conduction blocks were demonstrated in the counterclockwise direction. Anterolateral isthmus conduction time in group I was significantly longer than that in group II in both directions. However, there were no significant differences in posteromedial isthmus conduction time between groups I and II in either direction. Anterolateral isthmus conduction time was significantly longer than posteromedial conduction time in group I but not in group II.There were significant differences in conduction properties at the cavotricuspid isthmus between patients who developed unidirectional conduction block and those who did not. Our results support the notion that anisotropy contributes to the genesis of unidirectional conduction block at the cavotricuspid isthmus during the radiofrequency ablation procedure.

    View details for PubMedID 12475099

  • Importance of using standard rather than torso surface electrocardiographic leads for pacemapping at the right ventricular outflow tract PACE-PACING AND CLINICAL ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY Matsushita, T., Chun, S., Chan, N. Y., Glatter, K., Sung, R. J. 2002; 25 (5): 776-784


    Although pacemapping has been used to localize the origin of ventricular tachycardia, the effect of changes in the position of ECG electrodes during ventricular pacing remains unknown. To clarify the relationship between the position of ECG limb electrodes and QRS configuration during pacemapping at the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT), RVOT pacing was performed on 12 patients at eight pacing sites located in the anterior, septal, lateral, and posterior portions each in the high and low RVOT. Standard and torso ECGs were recorded simultaneously during each pacing protocol, and the QRS axis and amplitude were compared between the two ECGs. Differences between sites in the horizontal plane and in the longitudinal direction were also compared. The QRS axis on the torso ECG was significantly more rightward than that on the standard ECG at all eight pacing sites (72.1+/-17.4 vs 64.0+/-21.9 degrees). The magnitude of differences in the QRS axis and amplitude between the anterior and other sites at the same height was significantly greater in the standard ECG in all locations and in 7 of 18 comparable leads, respectively. The magnitude of differences between high and low sites was significantly greater in the standard ECG in three of four locations and in 5 of 12 comparable leads, respectively. In conclusion, the torso ECG is less sensitive to changes in pacing site at the RVOT than the standard ECG. The torso ECG is, therefore, not proper for pacemapping in attempts to ablate ventricular tachycardia arising from the RVOT.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000175689700005

    View details for PubMedID 12049368

  • Spatial heterogeneity of calcium transient alternans during the early phase of myocardial ischemia in the blood-perfused rabbit heart CIRCULATION Qian, Y. W., Clusin, W. T., Lin, S. F., Han, J., Sung, R. J. 2001; 104 (17): 2082-2087


    Optical mapping of cytosolic calcium transients in intact mammalian hearts is now possible using long-wavelength [Ca(2+)](i) indicators. We propose that beat-to-beat [Ca(2+)](i) transient alternans during ischemia may lead to spatial and temporal heterogeneity of calcium-activated membrane currents.To test this hypothesis, isolated rabbit hearts were loaded with the fluorescent [Ca(2+)](i) indicator, rhod-2 AM, and imaged at 300 frames/sec during blood-perfused ischemic trials. High-quality [Ca(2+)](i) transients were recorded in each of 8 hearts.[Ca(2+)](i) transient alternans was never present in control records but occurred in each of the hearts during ischemia, with onset after 2 to 4 minutes. Alternans was confined to circumscribed regions of the heart surface 5 to 15 mm across. Multiple regions of alternans were found in most hearts, and regions that were out of phase with one another were found in 6 hearts. Quantitative maps of alternans were constructed by calculating an alternans ratio. This ratio behaved as a continuous variable that reached a maximum value in the center of the regions with alternans.These results demonstrate marked spatial heterogeneity of the [Ca(2+)](i) transient during the early phase of ischemia, which could produce electrical instability and arrhythmias in large mammalian hearts.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171828800019

    View details for PubMedID 11673350

  • Influence of isoproterenol on the accelerated junctional rhythm observed during radiofrequency catheter ablation of atrioventricular nodal slow pathway conduction AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL Matsushita, T., Chun, S., Sung, R. J. 2001; 142 (4): 664-668


    Accelerated junctional rhythm (AJR) has been considered as a sensitive but rather nonspecific marker of successful radiofrequency (RF) ablation of slow pathway in patients with atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT). However, AJR also occurs commonly during isoproterenol infusion. We therefore investigated the effect of isoproterenol on the significance of AJR while attempting slow pathway ablation.Forty patients with AVNRT underwent slow pathway ablation. Sixty-nine RF applications accompanied by AJR were observed and were separated into 2 groups: applications performed without (group I, n = 26) and with (group II, n = 43) isoproterenol infusion. The specificity of AJR for successful ablation for each group was calculated.The specificity of AJR in groups I and II was 73% (19/26) and 49% (21/43), respectively (P <.05). There was no significant difference between the groups in the atrial electrogram width, atrial/ventricular electrogram amplitude ratio, the time from application onset to AJR emergence, or AJR cycle length. The catheter-tip temperature at AJR emergence was significantly lower (47 degrees C +/- 3 degrees C vs 52 degrees C +/- 3 degrees C, P <.001) and the ratio of junctional beats to total heart beats during RF application was significantly greater (46% +/- 24% vs 33% +/- 18%, P <.05) in group II compared with group I.Isoproterenol lowers the threshold of AJR emergence during RF application and thereby lowers the specificity of AJR for successful ablation. Complete washout of isoproterenol may therefore improve the specificity of AJR during RF ablation in patients with AVNRT.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171343100015

    View details for PubMedID 11579357

  • Electrophysiologic characteristics of ventricular extrastimulation-induced dissipation of functional bundle branch block associated with supraventricular tachycardia JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY Wang, S. H., Han, J., Hou, C., Sung, R. J. 2001; 12 (8): 928-934


    Linking-related anterograde functional bundle branch block during supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is due to repetitive concealed retrograde conduction of impulses from the contralateral bundle branch and can be eliminated by a critically timed premature ventricular beat (PVB). We assessed the electrophysiologic characteristics of PVB-induced dissipation of functional bundle branch block during SVT.During SVT with functional bundle branch block, PVB was delivered from the right ventricular apex, scanning the tachycardia cycle length (CL) with 10-msec decrements in the coupling interval in 14 patients (3 AV nodal reentrant tachycardia and 11 orthodromic AV reciprocating tachycardia). Dissipation was achieved in group 1: functional right bundle branch block (RBBB) in 4, functional left bundle branch block (LBBB) in 4, and both functional RBBB and LBBB in 1 with a dissipation zone occupying 4% to 13% (mean 8.5%) of the tachycardia CL. The outer limits were 22+/-16 msec and 68+/-14 msec < tachycardia CL; the inner limits were 56+/-18 msec and 90+/-24 msec < tachycardia CL for RBBB and LBBB, respectively (both P < 0.05). Dissipation could not be achieved in group 2 (4 RBBB and 1 LBBB) due to CL-dependent bundle branch block and/or local ventricular refractoriness.During SVT, functional bundle branch block due to "linking" often can be dissipated by timely PVB delivered from the right ventricular apex within a narrow zone of the tachycardia CL. Our findings suggest that the dissipation zone is affected by the pattern of functional bundle branch block relative to the site of PVB delivery.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000170405400012

    View details for PubMedID 11513445

  • Antiarrhythmic agents in facilitating electrical cardioversion of atrial fibrillation and promoting maintenance of sinus rhythm CARDIOLOGY Marcus, G. M., Sung, R. J. 2001; 95 (1): 1-8


    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a prevalent arrhythmia associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Electrical cardioversion of AF is a potentially definitive treatment, but as little as 67% of patients may be successfully cardioverted and, after normal sinus rhythm (NSR) is achieved, AF often recurs. Class IA, IC, and III antiarrhytmic agents are used for both facilitation of electrical cardioversion and subsequent maintenance of NSR. The mechanisms of these agents may be related to suppressing automaticity, prolonging the wavelength of reentrant wavelets, and preventing electrical remodeling. The possibility of proarrhythmia and other adverse effects complicates use of these drugs, and no large trials have been completed to elucidate definite indications. Several factors may predict failure with electrical cardioversion alone (duration of AF, atrial size, age, underlying disease, and factors that affect transthoracic impedance), calling for empiric pharmacotherapy to facilitate cardioversion. For this purpose, class IA agents hold some promise, evidence for class IC agents is conflicting, and class III agents are the most effective. Adverse effects are rare given the short course before cardioversion, but ibutilide, the most efficacious in this regard, may be proarrhythmic after only a single dose. In promoting maintenance of sinus rhythm, antiarrhythmics across the different classes have similar efficacies: NSR may be maintained in approximately 40-65% of patients compared to approximately 30-35% with placebo at 1 year. Amiodarone is distinct in its success, with approximately 60-80% of patients remaining in NSR. For all of these agents, long-term therapy may lead to proarrhythmia or other substantial adverse effects. Finally, a serial antiarrhythmic strategy may be effective, with maintenance of NSR and minimal adverse effects ultimately achieved by trial and error.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000169197000001

    View details for PubMedID 11385184

  • Effects of adenosine A(1)-receptor activation on torsade de pointes in rabbits CARDIOVASCULAR DRUGS AND THERAPY Tan, H. L., Hou, C. J., Sung, R. J. 1999; 13 (5): 441-447


    We tested whether the adenosine A1 receptor agonist, R-PIA, suppressed torsade de pointes (TdP) induced by the delayed rectifier potassium channel blocker clofilium. Furthermore, we studied the underlying mechanism: beta-adrenergic antagonism or ATP-sensitive K+ channel (IK-ATP) opening.In anesthetized rabbits, TdP was induced by simultaneous infusion of clofilium and the alpha1-adrenoceptor agonist methoxamine. Four groups were studied: (1) saline infusion after TdP induction; (2) R-PIA (1.3 mg/kg) infusion; (3) R-PIA infusion after propranolol (2 micromol/kg) pretreatment; (4) R-PIA infusion after glibenclamide (10 micromol/kg) pretreatment.TdP suppression rate was 0% in group 1, 78% in group 2 (p<0.01 vs. group 1), 67% in group 3 (p<0.05 vs. group 1, p = NS vs. group 2), 33% in group 4 (p = NS vs. group 1, p = 0.08 vs. group 2). TdP induction coincided with increased QT/QTc duration and QT dispersion. TdP suppression coincided with reduced QT dispersion, but further QT/QTc lengthening.R-PIA suppressed TdP, not by beta-adrenergic antagonism, but mostly by IK-ATP opening. QT dispersion correlated better with TdP induction/suppression than QT/QTc duration.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000082322600008

    View details for PubMedID 10547225

  • Multiple atrioventricular nodal pathways in humans: Electrophysiologic demonstration and characterization JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY Lee, K. L., Chun, H. M., Liem, L. B., Lauer, M. R., Young, C., Sung, R. J. 1998; 9 (2): 129-140


    Multiple AV nodal pathway physiology can be demonstrated in certain patients with clinical AV reentrant tachycardia.Evidence suggesting multiple AV nodal pathway conduction was present in seven (two males; age range 15 to 75 years) of 78 patients (9%) who underwent electrophysiologic studies for AV nodal tachycardia. The presence of two discrete discontinuities in the AV nodal conduction curves suggested triple AV nodal pathway conduction. Detailed mapping of their retrograde atrial activation sequence was performed along the tricuspid annulus from the coronary sinus ostium to the His-bundle electrogram recording site. Three zones (anterior, middle, and posterior) correspond to the upper, middle, and lower third of the triangle of Koch, respectively. The fast pathway exits were determined as anterior (4/7) or middle (3/7), the intermediate pathway exits as middle (4/7) or posterior (3/7), and the slow pathway exits as middle (1/7) or posterior (6/7). Other evidence suggesting multiple AV nodal pathway conduction includes: (1) triple ventricular depolarizations from a single atrial impulse; (2) sequential dual ventricular echoes; (3) spontaneous transformation between the slow-fast and fast-slow forms of AV nodal reentrant tachycardia; and (4) persistent cycle length alternans during AV nodal reentrant tachycardia. In four patients, all three pathways were shown to be involved in AV nodal echoes or reentrant tachycardia.Multiple AV nodal pathways are not uncommon and can be identified by careful electrophysiologic elucidation and mapping technique.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000072148200003

    View details for PubMedID 9511887

  • The role of intravenous amiodarone in the management of cardiac arrhythmias ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Desai, A. D., Chun, S., Sung, R. J. 1997; 127 (4): 294-303


    To review the electropharmacology, clinical applications, side effects, and hemodynamic profile of intravenous amiodarone.The MEDLINE database was searched for English-language material, including reports of clinical trials and in vivo studies, review articles, and abstracts presented at national symposia, that was published between 1985 and 1996. Bibliographies of textbooks and articles were also examined.Studies that reported on the efficacy, toxicity, and hemodynamic profile of intravenous amiodarone and studies that examined the pharmacologic behavior of intravenous amiodarone in laboratory models were reviewed.Study design and quality and relevant data on efficacy of suppression and treatment of arrhythmias with oral and intravenous amiodarone therapy, the reported mechanisms of antiarrhythmic effect, and hemodynamic changes seen with therapy were analyzed.Amiodarone is a unique antiarrhythmic agent that is now available in oral and intravenous forms in the United States. The use of intravenous amiodarone in the short-term treatment of life-threatening or hemodynamically unstable rhythm disturbances has generated much interest. Amiodarone has many electropharmacologic actions, some of which differ between the oral and intravenous forms. The wide clinical application of amiodarone includes treatment and prevention of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias and arrhythmias related to myocardial infarction. Intravenous amiodarone is effective for supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias that are resistant to other antiarrhythmic agents. The effectiveness of intravenous amiodarone as short-term treatment also suggests that the drug has an important role in protocols of advanced cardiac life support. Intravenous amiodarone seems to have an overall favorable hemodynamic profile and does not produce many of the unwanted long-term side effects associated with oral therapy.Intravenous amiodarone shows much promise for the short-term treatment of unstable arrhythmias. Its favorable hemodynamic effects and minimal short-term side effects make it an attractive option in the management of cardiac arrhythmias.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XR26600009

    View details for PubMedID 9265430

  • Intracoronary arterial occlusion: a novel technique potentially useful for ablation of cardiac arrhythmias. Journal of interventional cardiac electrophysiology Hsia, T. Y., Billingham, M., Sung, R. J. 1997; 1 (1): 7-14


    To develop a new technique for ablating arrhythmias by interrupting coronary perfusion of the myocardium, we studied six mongrel dogs, weighing 20-35 kg. Under angiographic guidance a microcatheter (1.0 mm diameter) was introduced into a branch of the left anterior descending or posterior descending coronary artery. A detachable platinum coil (0.0254 cm diameter, 3 cm length) soldered onto a stainless-steel delivery wire (Guglielmi) was inserted through the microcatheter and advanced to occlude the arterial branch. A 0.5-mA electric current applied to the proximal end of the delivery wire resulted in intravascular thrombosis due to attraction of the negatively charged blood cells, platelets, and fibrinogen to the positively charged platinum coil. In approximately 4.5 minutes, as the thrombus was formed, electric current dissolved the soldering and detached the platinum coil from the delivery wire. Electrocardiograms showed focal ST-T changes but no ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Pathologic studies revealed thrombosis around the platinum coil and well-demarcated focal ischemia/infarction that was correlated with elevation of cardiac enzymes. We conclude that intracoronary arterial embolization and electrothrombosis using an electrolytic platinum coil can be selectively performed in a very small coronary arterial branch, resulting in a limited area of myocardial damage. This technique is potentially useful for ablating arrhythmias and may be safer and more controllable than intracoronary alcohol infusion.

    View details for PubMedID 9869945

  • Ventricular pacing threshold and refractoriness after defibrillation shocks in patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL YU, J. C., Lauer, M. R., Young, C., Liem, L. B., Peterson, J., Ottoboni, L., Sung, R. J. 1996; 131 (6): 1121-1126


    The aim of this study was to examine the effect of ventricular fibrillation and a subsequent defibrillation shock on ventricular excitability and refractoriness in human beings. We studied 16 consecutive patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators undergoing follow-up studies. The pre- and post-shock pacing threshold, ventricular effective refractory period, monophasic action potential duration, and serum catecholamine levels were measured. Compared with the baseline state, immediately after ventricular fibrillation, and a successful defibrillation shock: (1) the ventricular effective refractory period decreased from 251 +/- 24 ms to 222 +/- 30 ms (p < 0.01), (2) the monophasic action potential duration decreased from 210 +/- 16 ms to 179 +/- 23 ms (P < 0.01) at 50% repolarization and from 274 +/- 24 ms to 240 +/- 26 ms (P< 0.01) at 90% repolarization, (3) the pacing threshold was not significantly altered and, (4) serum levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine were elevated. These results show that although ventricular fibrillation and subsequent defibrillation had no effect on the ventricular pacing threshold in human beings, it was associated with a decrease in post-shock monophasic action potential duration and ventricular effective refractory period, contrary to some previously reported findings.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UP98200011

    View details for PubMedID 8644590

  • Correlation of p-wave polarity with underlying electrophysiologic mechanisms of long RP' tachycardia AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CARDIOLOGY Ng, K. S., Lauer, M. R., Young, C., Liem, L. B., Sung, R. J. 1996; 77 (12): 1129-?


    Analysis of surface electrocardiograms from patients with long RP' tachycardia due to either atypical atrioventricular node reentrant tachycardia, permanent junctional reciprocating tachycardia, or low atrial tachycardia was performed. Although a negative P wave in the inferior leads is common to all 3 mechanisms, the results suggest that a positive or isoelectric P wave in electrocardiographic lead I strongly supports a diagnosis of atypical atrioventricular node reentrant tachycardia, whereas a negative or biphasic P wave in lead I argues against this mechanism.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UN62400022

    View details for PubMedID 8644674

  • Spectrum of electrophysiologic and electropharmacologic characteristics of verapamil-sensitive ventricular tachycardia in patients without structural heart disease AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CARDIOLOGY Lee, K. L., Lauer, M. R., Young, C., Lai, W. T., Tai, Y. T., Chun, H., Liem, L. B., Sung, R. J. 1996; 77 (11): 967-973


    Verapamil-sensitive ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a well-recognized clinical entity that some authorities believe may result from triggered activity. Despite its uniform response to verapamil, however, there is evidence that this uncommon form of VT may not be as homogeneous as first believed. Standard intracardiac electrophysiologic techniques were used to study verapamil-sensitive VT in 32 patients (aged 38 years +/- 20 years) without evidence of structural heart disease. More than half of these patients (69%) exhibited VT with a right bundle branch block-type QRS pattern, with the remainder (31%) displaying VT with a left bundle branch block pattern. In 31% of the patients the VT could be induced by fixed-cycle length atrial pacing, whereas in 59% of patients fixed-cycle length ventricular pacing was necessary. A critical range of cycle lengths for VT induction was required in 66% of the patients. Ventricular tachycardia was initiated with single atrial premature extrastimuli in 16% of patients, single ventricular extrastimuli in 50% of patients, and double ventricular premature extrastimuli in 9% of patients. Ventricular tachycardia displaying cycle-length alternans was observed in 28% of patients. In only 19% of patients was it possible to entrain VT during pacing from the right ventricular apex. Isoproterenol infusion was required for tachycardia induction in 50% of patients, 44% of whom had VT with a left bundle branch block QRS pattern, with the remaining 56% exhibiting VT with a right bundle branch block pattern. Beta-adrenergic blockers suppressed 53% of verapamil-sensitive VT in patients tested, whereas adenosine terminated VT in 50% of patients, with 81% of these patients exhibiting either a left bundle branch block QRS pattern or isoproterenol dependence. Ventricular tachycardia exhibiting a left bundle branch block pattern was more likely to be isoproterenol dependent (p <0.05) and adenosine sensitive (p <0.001). However, verapamil-sensitive, catecholamine-dependent VT was no more likely to be adenosine sensitive than the catecholamine-independent form of the arrhythmia (p >0.5). Verapamil-sensitive VT exhibits properties expected of both a reentrant and triggered arrhythmia, and it is inconsistently dependent on both exogenous catecholamines for induction and intravenous adenosine for termination. Verapamil-sensitive VT encompasses a heterogeneous group of tachycardias that may result from multiple cellular electrophysiologic mechanisms.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UM49400011

    View details for PubMedID 8644647

  • Localization of the origin of the atrioventricular junctional rhythm induced during selective ablation of slow-pathway conduction in patients with atrioventricular node reentrant tachycardia AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL YU, J. C., Lauer, M. R., Young, C., Liem, L. B., Hou, C., Sung, R. J. 1996; 131 (5): 937-946


    During radiofrequency catheter ablation of slow atrioventricular node pathway conduction in patients with atrioventricular node reentrant tachycardia, an atrioventricular junction rhythm is frequently observed. The origin and relation to ablation success of this junctional rhythm was examined in this study. By using standard intracardiac electrophysiology techniques, we studied the radiofrequency energy-induced atrioventricular junctional rhythm in 43 consecutive patients with atrioventricular node reentrant tachycardia undergoing selective ablation of slow-pathway conduction. The frequency of atrioventricular junctional activity was correlated with successful and unsuccessful attempts at ablation of slow-pathway conduction. Also, we compared the sequence of retrograde atrial activation of radiofrequency energy-induced atrioventricular junctional beats in a subgroup of 22 patients with the retrograde activation sequence observed during pacing from the right ventricular apex and the site of successful ablation of slow-pathway conduction. A total of 201 radiofrequency-energy applications was delivered in 43 patients with > or = 5 atrioventricular junctional beat(s) induced during 110 (55%) of 201 ablation attempts. Atrioventricular junctional activity was noted during 98% of successful ablations but only 43% of the unsuccessful attempts (sensitivity, 98%; specificity, 57%; negative predictive value, 99%). The mean time to appearance of atrioventricular junctional beats was 8.8 +/- 4.1 sec (mean +/- SD) after the onset of radiofrequency-energy application. In 22 (100%) of 22 patients in whom detailed atrial mapping was performed, the retrograde atrial activation sequence of the radiofrequency-induced atrioventricular junctional beats was earliest in the anterior atrial septum, identical to that seen during pacing from the right ventricular apex. Earliest retrograde atrial activation was at the posterior septum in all patients during pacing from the successful ablation site, a markedly different activation pattern compared with that seen during either radiofrequency ablation or ventricular pacing. Whereas the occurrence of atrioventricular junctional activity during radiofrequency ablation does not necessarily herald a successful ablation of slow atrioventricular node pathway conduction, its absence strongly suggests that the energy is being applied in an unsuccessful fashion. Furthermore, it appears that radiofrequency energy-induced atrioventricular junctional beats originate not from the endocardium in contact with the ablating catheter tip but instead appear to exit remotely from the anterior atrial septal region. This finding supports the existence of specialized tissues in the atrioventricular junction that preferentially transmit the effects of radiofrequency energy to an anterior exit site, possibly identical to the atrial exit site of the retrograde fast atrioventricular node conduction pathway.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UH93400015

    View details for PubMedID 8615313

  • Role of atrial extrastimulation in the diagnosis of atrioventricular node reentrant tachycardia with antegrade atrioventricular conduction via bystander accessory connection AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL Kuo, C. T., Lauer, M. R., Young, C., Hou, C. J., Liem, L. B., Yu, J., Sung, R. J. 1996; 131 (4): 839-842

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UE42100037

    View details for PubMedID 8721668

  • Characteristic electrocardiographic features of manifest left anterior paraseptal accessory atrioventricular connection AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL Lee, K. L., Lauer, M. R., Young, C., Chun, H., Liem, L. B., Sung, R. J. 1996; 131 (4): 814-818

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UE42100027

    View details for PubMedID 8721658

  • Electrophysiologic significance of discrete slow potentials in dual atrioventricular node physiology: Implications for selective radiofrequency ablation of slow pathway conduction AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL Kuo, C. T., Lauer, M. R., Young, C., Hou, C. J., Liem, L. B., Yu, J., Sung, R. J. 1996; 131 (3): 490-498


    Atrioventricular (AV) node reentrant tachycardia is now routinely cured by selective radiofrequency ablation of slow AV node pathway conduction. However, debate remains concerning the optimum method for localizing the site at which radiofrequency energy should be delivered to eliminate slow-pathway conduction. Some investigators have proposed simple anatomy-guided ablations posteriorly near the ostium of the coronary sinus, whereas others suggest an electrophysiology-guided ablation using either recorded "slow potentials" or mapping of the retrograde atrial exit site of slow AV note pathway conduction when possible. To examine these issues, we systematically studied slow potentials recorded in the AV junction of patients undergoing radiofrequency catheter ablation for medically refractory AV node reentrant tachycardia. In 67 patients with the slow-fast form of AV note reentrant tachycardia, we performed detailed atrial mapping along the tricuspid annulus within the triangle of Koch. Two types of slow potentials were identified. Low-amplitude, low-frequency potentials, found in 48% of patients, were localized to the mid to posterior portions of the triangle of Koch, whereas high-amplitude, high-frequency potentials, observed in 22% of patients, were located only posteriorly near the ostium of the coronary sinus. In response to a bolus infusion of adenosine or incremental atrial pacing-induced AV node Wenckebach periodicity, the low-amplitude, low-frequency potentials showed an increased duration and further reduction in amplitude and frequency and often totally disappeared. In contrast, in spite of these maneuvers, the high-amplitude and high-frequency potentials remained unchanged. Of the 25 (37%) of 67 patients in whom the earliest retrograde atrial activation during ventriculoatrial slow AV nodal pathway conduction could be recorded, no patient exhibited low-amplitude, low-frequency potentials, and only 7 (28%) of 25 of these patients showed high-amplitude, high-frequency potentials. High-amplitude, high-frequency potentials persisted after successful radiofrequency ablation of slow pathway conduction. Fewer applications of radiofrequency energy were required for successful elimination of slow pathway conduction in patients in whom the retrograde atrial exit site of slow-pathway conduction could be localized, compared with those patients who only exhibited retrograde fast AV nodal pathway conduction. We conclude that high-amplitude, high-frequency potentials are part of atrial activity, whereas the origin of low-amplitude, low-frequency potentials is unclear and may represent either true intranodal biophysical electrical activity or merely artifact or far-field potentials. Regardless, the recording of high-amplitude or low-amplitude potentials is not required for successful ablation of slow-pathway conduction, although the ability to localize the retrograde atrial exit of slow-pathway conduction may assist in the ablation procedure.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996TZ29500009

    View details for PubMedID 8604628



    This study was designed to characterize the ventricular vulnerable period (VVP) and ventricular fibrillation (VF) threshold by use of T-wave shocks in patients undergoing implantation of cardioverter/defibrillators. A premature condensed shock applied during the VVP can induce VF. Most studies on the VVP and VF threshold have been conducted in animals rather than in humans.Twenty-one patients undergoing implantation of Medtronic PCD Jewel 7219D cardioverter/defibrillators because of ventricular tachycardia and/or VF were enrolled. All had structural heart disease. Their ages ranged from 42 to 85 years (mean, 69 +/- 11.3 years). Seventeen (80.9%) had atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. The right ventricle (RV) was driven at a cycle length (S1) of 400 ms, and monophasic shocks (S2) of 0.6 J were delivered through an RV apex lead (cathode) and a superior vena cava lead (anode) during the T wave of each cardiac cycle. The longest and shortest S1-S2 intervals that were capable of inducing sustained VF were defined as the outer and inner limits of the VVP at an energy level of 0.6 J, respectively. To determine the VF threshold, a shock of 0.2 J was applied at the midpoint of the VVP at 0.2-J increments until sustained VF was induced. The lowest energy setting capable of inducing sustained VF was defined as the VF threshold. Of the 21 patients, the VVP at an energy level of 0.6 J averaged 53.8 +/- 26.0 ms. Characteristically, the VVP started from the ascending limb of the T wave and ended at or slightly beyond the peak of the T wave, occupying 12.2 +/- 5.8% of the QT interval. The midpoint of the VVP used for determination of the VF threshold measured 0 to 90 ms (mean, 32.9 +/- 26.0 ms) before the peak of the T wave. Of the 21 patients, 16 (76.2%) had a VF threshold at < or = 0.2 J (estimated 57 V), 3 at 0.4 J (estimated 81 V), and 2 at 0.6 J (estimated 99 V).The VF threshold is low (< or = 0.2 J) in the majority of patients requiring implantation of cardioverter/defibrillators. Further studies are needed to define clinical usefulness of the study technique relative to its potential role for risk stratification and for assessing antifibrillatory properties of antiarrhythmic drugs in this subset group of patients.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TC79600028

    View details for PubMedID 7586357



    Nonpharmacologic approaches to the long-term management of SVTs have evolved rapidly and now offer to patients a safe, effective alternative for symptomatic relief from many SVTs. By far, radiofrequency catheter ablation, a technology less than 10 years old, offers the least invasive and most cost-effective nonpharmacologic alternative for many SVTs. Knowledge gained through electrophysiologic and ablation studies has enlarged the understanding of SVTs and may enable electrophysiologists to approach the more common and morbid condition of atrial fibrillation. From a societal standpoint, catheter ablation can remain a cost-effective mode of treatment if patient selection is stringent. The next 10 years should see further refinement in technique and in understanding of SVTs, improved technology, and enlarging applications of radiofrequency energy to cure or modify cardiac arrhythmias.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RW54700009

    View details for PubMedID 7674687



    To review the current understanding of the mechanisms and treatment of the long QT interval syndromes and torsade de pointes.Personal databases of the authors and a search of the MEDLINE database from 1966 to 1994.Experimental and clinical studies and topical reviews on the electrophysiologic mechanisms and treatment of torsade de pointes were analyzed.The long QT interval syndromes have been classified into acquired and hereditary forms, both of which are associated with a characteristic type of life-threatening polymorphic ventricular tachycardia called torsade de pointes. The acquired form is caused by various agents and conditions that reduce the magnitude of outward repolarizing K+ currents, enhance inward depolarizing Na+ or Ca2+ currents, or both, thereby triggering the development of early afterdepolarizations that initiate the tachyarrhythmia. The hereditary form appears to result from an abnormal response to adrenergic or sympathetic nervous system stimulation. At least some cases of the hereditary long QT interval syndromes may result from a single gene defect that alters the intracellular regulatory proteins responsible for the modulation of K+ channel function. Treatment of the acquired form is primarily directed at identifying and withdrawing the offending agent, although emergent therapy using maneuvers and agents that favorably modulate transmembrane ion currents can be lifesaving. In torsade de pointes associated with the hereditary long QT interval syndromes, early diagnosis leading to treatments designed to both shorten the QT interval and block the beta-adrenergic-induced instability of the QT interval is essential.The long QT interval syndromes and torsade de pointes are potentially life-threatening conditions caused by various agents, conditions, and genetic defects. The mechanisms responsible for these conditions and available treatment options for them are reviewed.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QV15100009

    View details for PubMedID 7702233



    Although amiodarone is the most effective antiarrhythmic agent for maintaining sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation, it is generally used as the drug of the last resort in the United States. This is because long-term amiodarone therapy can potentially cause serious noncardiac side effects, such as pulmonary fibrosis, thyroid dysfunction, hepatitis, and neurotoxicity. Furthermore, it may also cause adverse interaction with digoxin, coumadin, and other antiarrhythmic drugs. Atrial fibrillation is frequently associated with a variety of cardiac disease, and its triggering factors vary among patients. Treatment strategy should be tailored to each individual patient according to the clinical presentation, concomitant disease, left ventricular function, and response (efficacy and side effects) to each drug regimen.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PR69500012

    View details for PubMedID 7873476



    With the advent of RF catheter modification of AV node conduction for the treatment of AV node reentrant tachycardia, considerable advances have been made with better understanding of the AV junctional anatomy, electrophysiology, and mechanism responsible for AV node reentrant tachycardia. Future studies should be designed to uncover the basic cellular electrophysiological mechanisms responsible for fast and slow AV node conduction, to define the exact tissue components of the reentrant circuit in order to make ablative procedures safer, and to study the long-term effects of RF catheter ablation on AV conduction. Special caution should be directed toward pediatric patients with more stringent indications for catheter ablation of the AV junctional area in these patients.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PA52000010

    View details for PubMedID 7971402



    Many of the newest implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) provide the option of programmable low-energy cardioversion for monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT). Whereas these devices may provide less myocardial damage and increased comfort in patients receiving frequent shocks for VT, the proarrhythmic effects of low-energy cardioversion from ICDs in patients with structural heart disease are not clear. The purpose of this study was to determine prospectively the per-patient incidence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) induction after low-energy cardioversion of VT by ICDs in patients with coronary artery disease. The estimated cardioversion energy requirement was determined during the course of routine predischarge ICD testing in 40 patients with newly implanted ICDs. Two groups of patients were identified during determination of the cardioversion energy requirement: (1) a non-VF group consisting of 26 of 40 patients (65%) without VF induced by low-energy shock and, (2) a VF group consisting of 14 of 40 patients (35%) who developed VF during low-energy cardioversion. There was no difference between the 2 groups in terms of patient age, sex, concurrent antiarrhythmic drug therapy, VT cycle length, or type of ICD system implanted. Compared with the non-VF group, the VF group was more likely to have both a lower ejection fraction (25 +/- 5% vs 33 +/- 8%; p = 0.005) and a cardioversion energy requirement > 2 J (79 vs 27%; p = 0.005). Our results suggest that low-energy cardioversion is associated with a high per-patient risk of VF induction, and the risk is higher in patients with poorer left ventricular function and, possibly, higher cardioversion energy requirement.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NB93500007

    View details for PubMedID 8147300



    The purpose of this study was to determine if adenosine is equally effective in terminating catecholamine-dependent and independent supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). The effect of adenosine on termination of SVT was studied in 21 patients: 12 with atrioventricular (AV) reciprocating tachycardia, and 9 with AV node reentrant tachycardia. Group 1 comprised 13 patients who had SVT induced in the absence of exogenous catecholamines, whereas group 2 comprised 8 who needed isoproterenol (1.6 +/- 0.4 micrograms/min) for induction. There was no statistical difference between the 2 groups regarding age, weight, mean arterial pressure during sinus rhythm and SVT, cycle length of SVT, or norepinephrine and epinephrine levels during sinus rhythm and SVT. Cycle length during sinus rhythm was significantly decreased in group 2. The mean dose of adenosine needed to terminate SVT was 52 +/- 6 micrograms/kg of body weight in group 1, and 61 +/- 12 micrograms/kg in group 2 (p > 0.05). In addition to isoproterenol not altering the minimal dose of adenosine necessary to terminate SVT, there was also no correlation between the dose of adenosine (mean 55 +/- 6 micrograms/kg) of each patient, and the corresponding endogenous epinephrine (273 +/- 59 pg/ml) (r = -0.19) and norepinephrine (400 +/- 58 pg/ml) (r = 0.01) levels during SVT, or cycle length of SVT (323 +/- 9 ms) (r = -0.35). The results show that adenosine is equally effective in terminating catecholamine-dependent and independent SVT; higher adenosine doses should not be needed to manage catecholamine-dependent SVT.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994MP70300008

    View details for PubMedID 8279375


    View details for Web of Science ID A1993LT36100022

    View details for PubMedID 8352195