a1 Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston
Sudden death occurs in patients after repair of congenital heart disease. In those with tetralogy of Fallot, or a similar lesion, ventricular tachycardia has been hypothesized as the major arrhythmic mechanism for sudden death. It would be desirable to identify individuals at risk for sudden death, to determine which arrhythmia would be likely to cause sudden death, and to treat those individuals with an appropriate antiarrhythmic to prevent sudden death. For the last 10 years, physicians have been treating patients with antiarrhythmic drugs, based on a number of criteria, the most common of which is the presence of premature ventricular contractions.1,2 The practice has recently been called into question by the CAST trial. It is the purpose of this paper to review the evidence that repair causes ventricular arrhythmias, that ventricular arrhythmias cause sudden death, and that ventricular arrhythmias should be treated prophylactically.
(Accepted March 17 1991)
c1 Dr. Arthur Garson, Jr., Pediatric Cardiology, Texas Children's Hospital, 6621 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77030 USA