Three patients with drug-resistant atrioventricular (AV) nodal reentrant tachycardia and two patients with reciprocating tachycardia associated with nodoventricular pathways received oral encainide after a control drug-free electrophysiologic study. In one patient with AV nodal reentry, encainide prolonged anterograde AV nodal conduction, produced complete ventriculoatrial (VA) block, and prevented tachycardia induction. Encainide had no effect on AV or VA conduction in the second patient with AV nodal reentry, and tachycardia with similar cycle length was still induced. The third patient was not studied while receiving encainide, but spontaneous AV nodal reentrant tachycardia occurring multiple times daily was abolished. In both patients with nodoventricular pathways, anterograde AV nodal and VA conduction were prolonged by encainide and tachycardia was no longer inducible. Two patients with AV nodal reentry were given long-term encainide therapy and have been free of recurrent arrhythmias for 16 and 30 months. One patient with a nodoventricular pathway has been without arrhythmia recurrence after 73 months of encainide therapy; the other patient required addltion of propranolol to encainide because of recurrent tachycardia. We conclude that encainide can prolong anterograde AV nodal and VA conduction and prevent induced and spontaneous tachycardia in some patients with drug-resistant and highly symptomatic AV nodal or nodoventricular reentry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine