Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias in Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Defibrillators: Triggers, Treatment, and Implications

Mark S. Link, Katy Bockstall, Jonathan Weinstock, Alawi A. Alsheikh-Ali, Christopher Semsarian, N. A.Mark Estes, Paolo Spirito, Tammy S. Haas, Ethan J. Rowin, Martin S. Maron, Barry J. Maron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Introduction: Triggers and ICD interventions of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) offer insight into mechanisms and treatment. Methods and Results: Intracardiac ICD electrograms from 71 HCM patients in the HCM I and II studies were analyzed by three individuals. Rhythms were defined as VF (polymorphic ventricular arrhythmia), VT (monomorphic ventricular tachycardia), and ventricular flutter (VFL; VT ≥ 240 bpm). Physical activity and rhythm preceding the arrhythmia were ascertained. Of 149 arrhythmias, VF was present in 74, VT in 57, and VFL in 18. In those whose activity was known, moderate or intense physical activity was associated with over 50% of the tachycardias (57 of 111). Rhythms preceding ventricular arrhythmias were often sinus tachycardia (49 of 149; 33%) or rapid atrial fibrillation (7 of 149; 5%). VF and VFL were more likely preceded by supraventricular rhythms >100 bpm (30 of 68 with VF; 44%; 12 of 16 with VFL 75%, vs. 14 of 50 with VT 28%; P = 0.001). Antitachycardia pacing (ATP) was successful in 39 of 53 (74%). Multiple shocks were more often required to terminate VFL (10 of 18; 56%) compared to VF (10 of 72; 14%) and VT (2 of 25; 8%; P < 0.0001). Of arrhythmias requiring more than one shock to terminate, 16 of 22 were preceded by sinus tachycardia and/or moderate or extreme physical activity. Conclusions: Rapid supraventricular rhythms, and at least moderate activity, frequently precede VT and VF, and when they occur in these situations often require multiple ICD shocks to restore sinus rhythm. ATP is successful in terminating VT and VFL, and should be a programmed in all HCM patients with ICDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-537
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


  • antitachycardia pacing
  • athletes
  • atrial fibrillation
  • exercise
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillators
  • ventricular fibtillation
  • ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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