Journal Article Thoracic Epidural Anesthesia Can Be Effective for the Short‐Term Management of Ventricular Tachycardia Storm

Do, Duc H.  ,  Bradfield, Jason  ,  Ajijola, Olujimi A.  ,  Vaseghi, Marmar  ,  Le, John  ,  Rahman, Siamak  ,  Mahajan, Aman  ,  Nogami, Akihiko  ,  Boyle, Noel G.  ,  Shivkumar, Kalyanam

6 ( 11 )  , p.e007080 , 2017-11 , American Heart Association , Wiley
Background Novel therapies aimed at modulating the autonomic nervous system, including thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA), have been shown in small case series to be beneficial in treating medically refractory ventricular tachycardia (VT) storm. However, it is not clear when these options should be considered. We reviewed a multicenter experience with TEA in the management of VT storm to determine its optimal therapeutic use.Methods and Results Data for 11 patients in whom TEA was instituted for VT storm between July 2005 and March 2016 were reviewed to determine the clinical characteristics, outcomes, and role in management. The clinical presentation was incessant VT in 7 (64%), with polymorphic VT in 3 (27%) and monomorphic VT in 8 (73%). The underlying conditions were nonischemic cardiomyopathy in 5 (45%), ischemic cardiomyopathy in 3 (27%), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Brugada syndrome, and cardiac lipoma in 1 (9%) each. Five (45%) had a complete and 1 (9%) had a partial response to TEA; 4 of the complete responders had incessant VT. All 4 patients with a documented response to deep sedation demonstrated a complete response to TEA.Conclusions More than half of the patients with VT storm in our series responded to TEA. TEA may be effective and should be considered as a therapeutic option in patients with VT storm, especially incessant VT, who are refractory to initial management. Improvement in VT burden with deep sedation may suggest that sympathoexcitation plays a key role in perpetuating VT and predict a positive response to TEA.

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