Serial chest thumps for the treatment of ventricular tachycardia in patients with coronary artery disease



Based on excellent results of successive single chest thumping (CT) and serial chest thumping (SCT) for the interruption of ventricular tachycardia (VT) in experimental animals with subacute myocardial infarction, the SCT method was applied for the treatment of VT in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). SCT was successful in terminating 13 of 19 episodes of VT (68%) in 8 of 14 patients (57%). Conversion of VT was immediate in 9 episodes in 6 patients and latent in 4 episodes in 2 patients. Complications were rare but significant. In one case, SCT resulted in a ventricular asystole and in another case SCT accelerated the rate of VT from 167/min to 242/min, requiring electroconversion. Neither a short duration of VT nor a preserved left ventricular function seemed to enhance conversion by SCT. For interruption of VT in patients with CAD, SCT is not as successful as in the experimental animal model and, therefore, should not be used as a routine method. It may be applied in selected patients under hospital conditions with a standby defibrillator.