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Pregnancy and Short-Coupled Torsades de Pointes


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Address for reprints: Lee Biblo, M.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee WI, 53226. Fax: 414-805-0535; e-mail:


This 24-year-old woman had incessant polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (PVT) during week 24 of her pregnancy and received over 200 implantable cardioverter-defibrillator discharges. She failed to respond to quinidine, magnesium, isoproterenol, amiodarone, esmolol, and cilostazol during her PVT storm, although her dramatic response to verapamil was consistent with the diagnosis of short-coupled variant of torsades de pointes. The case illustrated the utility of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation during refractory PVT, while attempting diagnostic and therapeutic pharmacologic maneuvers.

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