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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2015 April;63(2):121-33


language: English

Update on management of cardiac arrhythmias in acute coronary syndromes

Willich T., Goette A.

Department of Cardiology and Intensive Care Medicine, St. Vincenz-Hospital, Paderborn, Germany


This review summarizes different types of arrhythmias in patients with acute coronary syndromes and provides an overview of the available therapeutic options for acute care and management of critical arrhythmias. The different therapeutic options are depending on the origin and type of arrhythmia. The main common dominant mechanisms are intramural re-entry in ischemia and triggered activity in reperfusion. The different forms of arrhythmia were explained in detail. Atrial arrhythmias are mainly atrial fibrillation; other forms are rare and usually self-limited. As therapeutic options antiarrhythmic drug therapy with beta-blockers or amiodarone and direct current cardioversion are suitable. Ventricular arrhythmias can be divided in premature ventricular complexes, accelerated idioventricular rhythm, non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular fibrillation (VF) and electrical storm. As therapeutic options antiarrhythmic drug therapy, implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy (ICD), radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFA) and stellate ganglion blockade are available. The treatment with antiarrhythmic drug is rather cautious recommended, with the exception of beta-blockers. An additional drug therapy with ranolazine may be considered. The advantage of ICD therapy for long-term primary or secondary prophylactic therapy has been well documented. ICD therapy is associated with significant reduction in mortality compared with antiarrhythmic drug therapy (mainly amiodarone), with the exception of beta-blockers. RFA and stellate ganglion blockade are rather intended as therapeutically options for incessant VT/VF or electrical storm.

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Cite this article as

Willich T, Goette A. Update on management of cardiac arrhythmias in acute coronary syndromes. Minerva Cardioangiol 2015 April;63(2):121-33. 

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