Acute Mechanical Response to Anti-arrhythmic Drug Therapy


The aim of this study is to determine if anti-arrhythmic drugs with a sodium channel-blocking mechanism exert a detrimental electromechanical effect on cardiac function in patients depending upon baseline intraventricular conduction and left ventricular function.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: February 27, 2018

Detailed Description

Amiodarone therapy is used frequently for control of ventricular arrhythmias in patients who receive painful shocks from an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Data in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients and ICD patients suggest that amiodarone is mortality-neutral; it neither confers increased nor decreased mortality. However, these data are derived from patients largely with normal intraventricular conduction, manifesting as a QRS complex duration on the surface ECG <120 ms. Amiodarone, in addition to potassium-channel blocking effects, is a sodium channel-blocker. Because sodium channels mediate cardiac depolarization, and a QRS complex >120 ms is indicative of abnormal depolarization, amiodarone may not be benign in patients with such conduction defects. Patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillators (CRT-D), who all have abnormal baseline intraventricular conduction, may therefore be adversely affected by amiodarone. Anecdotal clinical data suggest that this may be the case, but the question of amiodarone's cardiac safety profile in CRT patients has never been studied.


  • Drug: Procainamide
    • the procainamide will be infused at 12mcg/kg up to a max of 1 gram at a rate of 20mg/min which will take up to 1 hour to infuse

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: observational
    • All patients will undergo 12-lead ECG and transthoracic echocardiography on the day of the study. These studies will be performed on patients as their previously implanted device is reprogrammed to pace in different modes. Patients will then receive an infusion of procainamide (12 mg/kg up to a maximum of 1 g) at a rate of 20 mg/min. Repeat ECG and echocardiograms will then be performed. The patient’s device will be programmed to a specific setting before and after the procainamide infusion.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Change in QRS duration
    • Time Frame: baseline and 1 hour post infusion
    • the QRS waveform measurements will be calculated on the EKG prior to and after the procainamide infusion
  • changes in left ventricular volumes as measured via echocardiogram
    • Time Frame: baseline and 1 hour post infusion
    • the left ventricular volume will be calculated via echocardiogram pre and post procainamide infusion
  • changes in ejection fraction as measured via echocardiogram
    • Time Frame: baseline and 1hour post infusion
    • ejection fraction will be calculated via echocardiogram pre and post procainamide infusion.
  • changes in RV-LV electrical activation (in CRT patients)
    • Time Frame: baseline and 1 hour post infusion
    • The RV-LV electrical activation will be assessed during the device interrogation pre and post procainamide infusion.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Implanted cardiac device requiring generator change and a new device – Able to give informed consent Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current membrane-active anti-arrhythmic – Glomerular filtration rate (GRF)<30 milliliters (mL)/min – MAP<60 mmHg – Known intolerance to procainamide – Pregnancy – Age <18 or >85 years old – Baseline QT interval >480 ms (500 ms if paced)

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 85 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Evan Adelstein, MD
  • Collaborator
    • University of Pittsburgh
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor-Investigator: Evan Adelstein, MD, Evan Adelstein, MD – University of Pittsburgh
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Evan Adelstein, MD, Principal Investigator, University of Pittsburgh

Citations Reporting on Results

Connolly SJ, Camm AJ, Halperin JL, Joyner C, Alings M, Amerena J, Atar D, Avezum A, Blomstrom P, Borggrefe M, Budaj A, Chen SA, Ching CK, Commerford P, Dans A, Davy JM, Delacretaz E, Di Pasquale G, Diaz R, Dorian P, Flaker G, Golitsyn S, Gonzalez-Hermosillo A, Granger CB, Heidbuchel H, Kautzner J, Kim JS, Lanas F, Lewis BS, Merino JL, Morillo C, Murin J, Narasimhan C, Paolasso E, Parkhomenko A, Peters NS, Sim KH, Stiles MK, Tanomsup S, Toivonen L, Tomcsanyi J, Torp-Pedersen C, Tse HF, Vardas P, Vinereanu D, Xavier D, Zhu J, Zhu JR, Baret-Cormel L, Weinling E, Staiger C, Yusuf S, Chrolavicius S, Afzal R, Hohnloser SH; PALLAS Investigators. Dronedarone in high-risk permanent atrial fibrillation. N Engl J Med. 2011 Dec 15;365(24):2268-76. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1109867. Epub 2011 Nov 14. Erratum In: N Engl J Med. 2012 Feb 16;366(7):672.

Packer DL, Prutkin JM, Hellkamp AS, Mitchell LB, Bernstein RC, Wood F, Boehmer JP, Carlson MD, Frantz RP, McNulty SE, Rogers JG, Anderson J, Johnson GW, Walsh MN, Poole JE, Mark DB, Lee KL, Bardy GH. Impact of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, amiodarone, and placebo on the mode of death in stable patients with heart failure: analysis from the sudden cardiac death in heart failure trial. Circulation. 2009 Dec 1;120(22):2170-6. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.853689. Epub 2009 Nov 16. Erratum In: Circulation. 2010 Feb 16;121(6):e39.

Echt DS, Liebson PR, Mitchell LB, Peters RW, Obias-Manno D, Barker AH, Arensberg D, Baker A, Friedman L, Greene HL, et al. Mortality and morbidity in patients receiving encainide, flecainide, or placebo. The Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial. N Engl J Med. 1991 Mar 21;324(12):781-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199103213241201.

Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial II Investigators. Effect of the antiarrhythmic agent moricizine on survival after myocardial infarction. N Engl J Med. 1992 Jul 23;327(4):227-33. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199207233270403.

Cairns JA, Connolly SJ, Roberts R, Gent M. Randomised trial of outcome after myocardial infarction in patients with frequent or repetitive ventricular premature depolarisations: CAMIAT. Canadian Amiodarone Myocardial Infarction Arrhythmia Trial Investigators. Lancet. 1997 Mar 8;349(9053):675-82. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(96)08171-8. Erratum In: Lancet 1997 Jun 14;349(9067):1776.

Julian DG, Camm AJ, Frangin G, Janse MJ, Munoz A, Schwartz PJ, Simon P. Randomised trial of effect of amiodarone on mortality in patients with left-ventricular dysfunction after recent myocardial infarction: EMIAT. European Myocardial Infarct Amiodarone Trial Investigators. Lancet. 1997 Mar 8;349(9053):667-74. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(96)09145-3. Erratum In: Lancet 1997 Apr 19;349(9059):1180. Lancet 1997 Jun 14;349(9067):1776.

Connolly SJ, Dorian P, Roberts RS, Gent M, Bailin S, Fain ES, Thorpe K, Champagne J, Talajic M, Coutu B, Gronefeld GC, Hohnloser SH; Optimal Pharmacological Therapy in Cardioverter Defibrillator Patients (OPTIC) Investigators. Comparison of beta-blockers, amiodarone plus beta-blockers, or sotalol for prevention of shocks from implantable cardioverter defibrillators: the OPTIC Study: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2006 Jan 11;295(2):165-71. doi: 10.1001/jama.295.2.165.

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.