Increased risk of death and cardiac arrest from encainide and flecainide in patients after non-Q-wave acute myocardial infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial

Toshio Akiyama, Yudi Pawitan, Henry Greenberg, Chien Suu Kuo, Robin A. Reynolds-Haertle, CAST Investigators The CAST Investigators

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83 Scopus citations

Abstract

This report examines whether in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial death and cardiac arrest from encainide, flecainide and moricizine during the titration phase and from encainide and flecainide during the follow-up phase were related to presence (Q-wave acute myocardial infarction [Q-AMI]) or absence (non-Q-AMI) of pathologic Q waves. In all, 2,371 patients (70% with Q-AMI, 26% with non-Q-AMI, and 4% unknown) entered the titration phase, starting 117 ± 163 days after index AMI and lasting for an average of 21 days. For the titration phase, no significant differences existed between Q-AMI and non-Q-AMI patients for death and cardiac arrest rate, ventricular premature complex suppression rate, and nonrandomization rate. A total of 1,498 patients entered the follow-up phase of an average of 10 months (starting 129 ± 158 days after the index AMI), and were randomized to encainide or flecainide, or their matching placebos. In the placebo group, non-Q-AMI patients had a significantly lower rate of death and cardiac arrest than Q-AMI patients (1.0 and 4.6%, respectively; p = 0.04). Encainide and flecainide significantly elevated death and cardiac arrest rate in both non-Q-AMI patients (8.7%, p < 0.01) and Q-AMI patients (7.8%, p = 0.04). The relative risk for encainide or flecainide over placebo in the non-Q-AMI patients was 8.7, which was significantly higher than 1.7 observed for the Q-AMI patients (p = 0.03). None of the baseline characteristics had any significant interaction with encainide or flecainide. In conclusion, during the relatively early post-AMI period, therapy with encainide, flecainide or moricizine resulted in similar rates of ventricular premature complex suppression and death/cardiac arrest between non-Q-AMI and Q-AMI groups. In contrast, during the late postmyocardial infarction period, therapy with encainide or flecainide was associated with a much steeper increase in death/cardiac arrest rate in the non-Q-AMI group than in the Q-AMI group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1551-1555
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Volume68
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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