Background: Electrocardiographic (ECG) markers of antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) activity could be used to optimize efficacy and minimize toxicity. Vectorcardiographic global electrical heterogeneity (GEH) is associated with ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death, but it is unclear how GEH measurements change in response to AADs. Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize acute effects of AADs on GEH measurements. Methods: We analyzed double-blind placebo-controlled trial data from healthy volunteers given 1 dose of placebo, dofetilide, quinidine, ranolazine, or verapamil on subsequent visits. Serial ECGs and plasma drug concentrations were collected. Vectorcardiographic GEH parameters (spatial ventricular gradient [SVG], spatial QRST angle, sum absolute QRST integral, and SVG-QRS peak angle) were measured. Placebo-corrected change from baseline was regressed on drug concentration stratified by sex using linear mixed effects models. Results: Among 22 persons (11 (50%) male median age 27 ± 5 years), 5232 ECGs were analyzed. Dofetilide and quinidine were associated with significant changes in more GEH parameters (5) compared with verapamil (2) and ranolazine (1). The most notable change occurred in SVG azimuth, with largest changes (degrees per unit normalized drug concentration) in dofetilide (6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.2–8.0) and quinidine (9.4; 95% CI 6.7–12.0), and smaller effects in verapamil (4.4; 95% CI 2.9–5.9) and ranolazine (5.4; 95% CI 3.5–7.3). AAD-induced GEH changes significantly differed in men and women. Conclusion: AADs change GEH measurements. These changes, which differ by sex, are likely driven by alterations in ion channel function and dispersion of depolarization or repolarization. GEH measurement may allow early assessment of favorable or adverse AAD effects.
- Antiarrhythmic drugs
- Electrical heterogeneity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)