Author + information
- Received March 13, 1991
- Revision received May 29, 1991
- Accepted June 20, 1991
- Published online December 1, 1991.
- John A. Yeung-Lai-Wah, MB, ChB, FRCPC, FACC∗,1,
- Jeffrey F. Alison, MB, BS, FRACP,
- Lona Lonergan, BSN,
- Riyad Mohama, MD, MSc,
- Richard Leather, MD, FRCPC and
- Charles R. Kerr, MD, FRCPC, FACC
- ↵∗Address for reprints: John A. Yeung-Lai-Wah, MB ChB, FRCPC, University Hospital, UBC Site, Division of Cardiology, Room S124, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 2B5.
Radiofrequency current was introduced as an alternative energy source for transcatheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias to avoid the complications associated with direct current shocks. Initial use of radiofrequency current for complete ablation of the atrioventricular (AV) node yielded only moderate success rates, presumably because of the small size of electrodes and difficulty in localizing the AV node.
The use of a larger 4-mm tip electrode for delivery of radiofrequency current and a method to better localize the AV node were prospectively studied in 32 patients undergoing catheter ablation of the AV node. There were 21 men and 11 women with a mean age of 62 ± 12 years. Complete AV block was achieved immediately in 31 patients (97%) and it persisted in 28 patients (88%) during a mean follow-up period of 12 ± 6 months. Three patients who had return of AV conduction required no drug therapy for control of ventricular rate during atrial fibrillation. The number of radiofrequency pulses used to achieve complete AV block ranged from 1 to 5 (mean 1.9 ± 1.1). In >50% of the cases, only one radiofrequency pulse was required. The mean power and duration of radiofrequency pulses were 21.2 ± 4.5 W and 33 ± 15 s, respectively. All patients developed a stable junctional escape rhythm within 45 min of successful ablation. The QRS configuration was unchanged in 30 patients. One patient had a new right bundle branch block after ablation. There were no complications related to the ablation procedure.
Transcatheter ablation of the AV node is highly efficacious and safe when radiofrequency current is delivered through a large electrode positioned close to the AV node.
- Received March 13, 1991.
- Revision received May 29, 1991.
- Accepted June 20, 1991.