Although reflex sympathetic activation is a major determinant of the haemodynamic tolerability of ventricular tachycardia (VT), the methods for evaluating this aspect during on-going VT remain invasive and complicated. Palmar sweating as an indirect but non-invasive measure of sympathetic activity was estimated by means of a unique hygrometer under right ventricular (RV) rapid pacing (up to 150 beats min-1) replicating VT, and concurrent monitoring of aortic blood pressure in five patients with various kinds of cardiac arrhythmias in our electrophysiological laboratory. The peak palmar sweating rate in arbitrary units was augmented as the RV pacing rate increased and was proportional to the pacing-induced fall in systolic blood pressure (SBP), with a correlation coefficient of more than 0.903 (P < 0.006). The slope of linearity between the sweating rate and the fall in SEP varied among individual patients, with greater sweating amplitude in the younger patients even with the same extent of fall in SEP. This preliminary study suggests sympathetic acceleration caused by haemodynamic deterioration under simulated VT, and therefore this protocol may be able to predict the haemodynamic tolerability of sustained monomorphic VT.
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