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1/88. Left ventricular end-diastolic extrasystole with pseudonormalization of a left bundle branch block unmasking inferior ischemia.

    An electrocardiogram tracing of a patient in conducted sinus rhythm with left bundle branch block is shown, in which occasional pseudonormalization of intraventricular conduction is seen. This event is attributed to ventricular fusions with end-diastolic extrasystoles of the left His-Purkinje system distal to the block site. This type of extrasystole is discussed. In this case, normalization of ventricular activation allowed for diagnosis of inferior subepicardial ischemia. ( info)

2/88. Fatal cardiac ischaemia associated with prolonged desflurane anaesthesia and administration of exogenous catecholamines.

    PURPOSE: Four cardiac ischaemic events are reported during and after prolonged anaesthesia with desflurane. CLINICAL FEATURES: We have evaluated desflurane in 21 consecutive patients undergoing advanced head and neck reconstructive surgery. Four deaths occurred which were associated with cardiac ischaemic syndromes either during or immediately after operation. All patients in the study received a similar anaesthetic. This comprised induction with propofol and maintenance with alfentanil and desflurane in oxygen-enriched air. Inotropic support (either dopamine or dobutamine in low dose, 5 was provided as part of the anaesthetic technique in all patients. Critical cardiovascular incidents were observed in each of the four patients during surgery. These were either sudden bradycardia or tachycardia associated with ST-segment electrocardiographic changes. The four patients who died had a documented past history of coronary heart disease and were classified American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) II or III. One patient (#2) did not survive anaesthesia and surgery and the three others died on the first, second and twelfth postoperative days. Enzyme increases (CK/CK-MB) were available in three patients and confirmed myocardial ischaemia. CONCLUSION: These cases represent an unexpected increase in the immediate postoperative mortality for these types of patients and this anaesthetic sequence. ( info)

3/88. Reversible catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy in a heart transplant candidate without persistent or paroxysmal hypertension.

    BACKGROUND: Both dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have been reported in patients with pheochromocytoma, who were almost always hypertensive. The outcome frequently has been fatal, yet cardiac dysfunction can be reversible after medical or surgical therapy for the pheochromocytoma. methods: We report the case of a patient with dilated cardiomyopathy without persistent or paroxysmal hypertension, who was found to have a pheochromocytoma during initial medical evaluation. RESULTS: The identification and treatment of the pheochromocytoma led to significant improvement in cardiac function and cardiac transplantation was avoided. CONCLUSIONS: This case illustrates some unusual features in pheochromocytoma-induced cardiomyopathy: (1) absence of persistent or paroxysmal hypertension, (2) initial presentation with acute myocardial infarction and normal coronary arteries, and (3) recurrent episodes of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia. ( info)

4/88. Significant complications can occur with ischemic heart disease and tilt table testing.

    We present an elderly patient who had syncope, with known coronary artery disease and a conduction abnormality. Because of a possible vasovagal reaction, the patient underwent a tilt table test prior to evaluation of ischemia or her LV function. During the tilt table test on isoproterenol, the patient developed ventricular fibrillation which was corrected immediately by cardioversion. Subsequently, the patient was found to have significant coronary artery disease which was treated with stenting and angioplasty. After treatment, there were no inducible arrhythmias on full dose isoproterenol. This case reports a significant complication that may occur when tilt table testing with isoproterenol and ischemia. ( info)

5/88. Possible theophylline toxicity during anesthesia.

    Asthmatic patients who undergo outpatient anesthesia are typically prescribed one or more drugs for treatment. Some of these agents have narrow therapeutic ranges and are associated with potentially serious adverse reactions, toxic effects, or drug interactions. Various clinical signs of toxicity may be first uncovered during routine monitoring of an office anesthetic. The case reported here demonstrates the need for proper understanding of the asthmatic patient's medical history and an appreciation for the medications used to control the disease. A sudden cardiovascular event possibly related to drug toxicity is witnessed and treated in an asthmatic patient during intravenous sedation. A possible drug interaction with a non-asthmatic medication taken concomitantly by the patient is implicated and discussed. In addition to the case report, the broad classification of drugs employed for bronchial asthma and their effects is reviewed. ( info)

6/88. Inappropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy due to the detection of premature ventricular complexes.

    Inappropriate shocks delivered by implantable cardioverter-defibrillators may occur in 15%-40% of patients treated with these devices. This article describes a rare cause for inappropriate shocks. Two patients received inappropriate shocks due to the presence of premature ventricular complexes during attempted reconfirmation of ventricular fibrillation. knowledge of device algorithms for detection and reconfirmation of ventricular fibrillation, designed to have a high degree of sensitivity and therefore lower specificity, allows for reprogramming to avoid further inappropriate shocks. ( info)

7/88. Dental anesthetic management of a patient with ventricular arrhythmias.

    During routine deep sedation for endodontic therapy, a dentist-anesthesiologist observed premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) on a 62-yr-old woman's electrocardiogram (EKG) tracing. The dentist was able to complete the root canal procedure under intravenous (i.v.) sedation without any problems. The dentist-anesthesiologist referred the patient for medical evaluation. She was found to be free from ischemic cardiac disease with normal ventricular function. The patient was cleared to continue her dental treatment with deep sedation. She subsequently continued to undergo dental treatment with deep intravenous sedation without incident, although her EKG exhibited frequent PVCs, up to 20 per minute, including couplets and episodes of trigeminy. This article will review indications for medical intervention, antiarrhythmic medications, and anesthetic interventions for perioperative PVCs. ( info)

8/88. Giant cervico-mediastinal lipoma. A clinical case.

    The lipoma is a circumscribed mesenchymal tumour originating from adipose tissue. The lesion is usually small and asymptomatic, and is most frequently located in the neck region. The case of a 77-year-old woman with chronic extrasystolic arrhythmia caused by a non-specified ischemic cardiopathy is reported. The woman presented a swelling at the front of her neck, observed for the first time about 6 months previously. This swelling progressively increased in size, provoking dysphagia, dysphonia, persistent cough, dyspnea, light jugular turgor and palpitations. Chest x-rays showed and opaque area at the front of the neck, which extended beyond the jugular incisure by about 2 cm. NMR of the neck showed a gross lipomatous formation at the front, mainly of the left, continuing in the front mediastinal region; the trachea was dislocated to the right and compressed at the back; the vasculo-nervous fasciculus, especially on the left, was compressed and enveloped by the adipose formation. The Holter test confirmed the presence of ventricular and supra-ventricular extrasystoles. Surgery was carried out under local anaesthesia because the displacement of the laryngo-tracheal axes precluded intubation. Histological analysis of the 9 x 4 x 2.2 cm mass confirmed the diagnosis of lipoma. After removal of the mass all the symptoms, which had been provoked by compression, as well as the cardiac arrhythmias disappeared. The prompt disappearance of the latter was particularly surprising. The possibility of the external compression of the nervous structures of the neck should be taken into consideration in cases of ventricular arrhythmia of unknown origin, and systematic study of the region carried out. ( info)

9/88. heart rate variability analysis of patients with idiopathic left ventricular outflow tract tachycardia: role of triggered activity.

    There have been several reports with respect to idiopathic ventricular tachycardias (VTs) originating from the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT). A previous report suggested that triggered activity plays a partial role in idiopathic LVOT tachycardia from the electrophysiological as well as the electropharmacological viewpoint. However, the exact role of triggered activity in this type of VT remains unknown. In the present study the relationship of the frequency of premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and heart rate was examined and heart rate variability (HRV) was analyzed in 2 cases of LVOT tachycardia using 24-h Holter electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring. The relation between the PVCs frequency and heart rate showed a persistently positive correlation, indicating frequent PVCs as heart rate increased. In HRV analysis, NN50(%), a time-domain variable of parasympathetic activity, showed no change prior to ventricular arrhythmias. In frequency-domain analysis of HRV, the high frequency (HF) component tended to fall prior to repetitive PVCs and VTs. The ratio of the low frequency to high frequency (LF/HF) components increased prior to single PVCs, repetitive PVCs and VTs. Sympathetic predominance predisposes the genesis of these kinds of arrhythmias originating from the LVOT and it is suggested that triggered activity plays an important role in LVOT tachycardia, at least in its initiation. ( info)

10/88. Treatment of amitriptyline poisoning with ovine antibody to tricyclic antidepressants.

    We report clinical improvement with the use of an ovine antibody (Fab fragment) to tricyclic antidepressants for the treatment of toxic effects of amitriptyline on the central nervous system and heart in a 48-year-old man. ( info)
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