Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Treatment of Ventricular Arrhythmias in the Elderly

Aronow, Wilbert S. MD, FACC, FAHA

doi: 10.1097/CRD.0b013e3181a270f8
Review Article

Underlying causes of ventricular tachycardia (VT) or complex ventricular arrhythmias (VA) should be treated if possible. Antiarrhythmic drugs should not be administered to treat asymptomatic individuals with complex VA and no heart disease. Beta-blockers are the only antiarrhythmic drugs that have been documented to reduce mortality in patients with VT or complex VA. Radiofrequency catheter ablation of VT has been beneficial in treating selected patients with arrhythmogenic foci of monomorphic VT. The automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) is the most effective treatment for patients with life-threatening VT or ventricular fibrillation. Patients with AICDs should be treated with biventricular pacing, not with dual-chamber rate-responsive pacing at a rate of 70/min. Patients with AICDs should also be treated with beta-blockers, statins, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin blockers.

From the Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York.

Correspondence: Wilbert S. Aronow, MD, Cardiology Division, New York Medical College, Macy Pavilion, Room 138, Valhalla, NY 10595. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.