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Effect of four different antiarrhythmic protocols in boxers with VPC
Ventricular premature complexes (VPC) are diagnosed in a number of boxers with or without clinical signs of syncopal episodes. There are different treatment protocols recommended at the moment. Which of the four most commonly used is the best?

The effect of 4 antiarrhythmic treatment protocols on number of ventricular premature complexes (VPC), severity of arrhythmia, heart rate (HR), and number of syncopal episodes in 49 Boxers with ventricular tachyarrhythmias was investigated in a randomized controlled clinical trial.
Dogs with > 500 VPC/24 h via 24-hour ambulatory ECG (AECG) were treated with atenolol (n = 11), procainamide (11), sotalol (16), or mexiletine and atenolol (11) for 21 to 28 days. Results of pre- and posttreatment AECG were compared with regard to number of VPC/24 h; maximum, mean, and minimum HR; severity of arrhythmia; and occurrence of syncope.
Significant differences between pre- and posttreatment number of VPC, severity of arrhythmia, HR variables, or occurrence of syncope were not observed in dogs treated with atenolol or procainamide. Significant reductions in number of VPC, severity of arrythmia, and maximum and mean HR were observed in dogs treated with mexiletine-atenolol or sotalol; occurrence of syncope was not significantly different between these 2 treatment groups.

Treatment with sotalol or mexiletine-atenolol was well tolerated and efficacious. Treatment with procainamide or atenolol was not effective.

Source: Meurs KM, et al (2002): Comparison of the effects of four antiarrhythmic treatments for familial ventricular arrhythmias in Boxers. In: J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002 Aug 15;221(4):522-7




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