Encainide for atrial fibrillation associated with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

Robert L. Rinkenberger, Gerald V. Naccarelli, William M. Miles, Michael L. Markel, Anne H. Dougherty, Eric N. Prystowsky, James J. Heger, Douglas P. Zipes

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Thirty-six patients with a history of atrial fibrillation and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome were treated with oral encainide, 175 ± 44 ing/day, after undergoing baseline drug-free electrophysiologic studies. The mean age was 38 ± 15 years, with structural heart disease present in only 3 patients. Nine patients had only paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and 27 patients had both atrial fibrillation and atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT). Symptoms were present for a mean of 195 ± 168 months and were treated with an average of 2.7 ± 1.6 drugs before encainide. Anterograde block in the accessory pathway occurred in 12 of 30 patients (40%) and retrograde block accessory pathway occurred in 10 of 24 patients in whom comparison could be made. AVRT was initiated in 29 of 36 patients during the control study and could be initiated in 19 of 29 patients while receiving encainide. Drug efficacy was determined by the clinical response judged completely effective, partially effective or ineffective. During a mean follow-up of 30.1 ± 25 months, 24 patients (67%) continued to take encainide. Encainide was completely effective in 14 of 24 patients and partially effective in another 7 patients. Noncardiac side effects were mild and generally resolved, and required discontinuance in only 1 patient. More frequent AVRT occurred in 2 patients, but was managed with dose reduction and the addition of a β blocker. Three patients had ventricular tachycardia requiring discontinuance; however 2 of 3 patients had a history of ventricular tachycardia before receiving encainide. Encainide is an effective and safe agent for treating atrial fibrillation in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L26-L30
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Dec 20 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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