Implantable defibrillators are lifesavers and have improved mortality rates in patients at risk of sudden death, both in primary and secondary prevention. However, they are unable to modify the myocardial substrate, which remains susceptible to life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Electrical storm is a clinical entity characterized the recurrence of hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia and/or ventricular fibrillation, twice or more in 24 hours, requiring electrical cardioversion or defibrillation. With the arrival of the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, this definition was broadened, and electrical storm is now defined as the occurrence of three or more distinct episodes of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation in 24 hours, requiring the intervention of the defibrillator (anti-tachycardia pacing or shock). Clinical presentation can be very dramatic, with multiple defibrillator shocks and hemodynamic instability. Managing its acute presentation is a challenge, and mortality is high both in the acute phase and in the long term. In large clinical trials involving patients implanted with a defibrillator both for primary and secondary prevention, electrical storm appears to be a harbinger of cardiac death, with notably high mortality soon after the event. In most cases, the storm can be interrupted by medical therapy, though transcatheter radiofrequency ablation of ventricular arrhythmias may be an effective treatment for refractory cases.This narrative literature review outlines the main clinical characteristics of electrical storm and emphasises critical points in approaching and managing this peculiar clinical entity. Finally focus is given to studies that consider transcatheter ablation therapy in cases refractory to medical treatment.

Electrical storm: Incidence, Prognosis and Therapy

Proietti, Riccardo;
2011

Abstract

Implantable defibrillators are lifesavers and have improved mortality rates in patients at risk of sudden death, both in primary and secondary prevention. However, they are unable to modify the myocardial substrate, which remains susceptible to life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Electrical storm is a clinical entity characterized the recurrence of hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia and/or ventricular fibrillation, twice or more in 24 hours, requiring electrical cardioversion or defibrillation. With the arrival of the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, this definition was broadened, and electrical storm is now defined as the occurrence of three or more distinct episodes of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation in 24 hours, requiring the intervention of the defibrillator (anti-tachycardia pacing or shock). Clinical presentation can be very dramatic, with multiple defibrillator shocks and hemodynamic instability. Managing its acute presentation is a challenge, and mortality is high both in the acute phase and in the long term. In large clinical trials involving patients implanted with a defibrillator both for primary and secondary prevention, electrical storm appears to be a harbinger of cardiac death, with notably high mortality soon after the event. In most cases, the storm can be interrupted by medical therapy, though transcatheter radiofrequency ablation of ventricular arrhythmias may be an effective treatment for refractory cases.This narrative literature review outlines the main clinical characteristics of electrical storm and emphasises critical points in approaching and managing this peculiar clinical entity. Finally focus is given to studies that consider transcatheter ablation therapy in cases refractory to medical treatment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3290167
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