Author + information
- Received June 20, 1995
- Revision received September 21, 1995
- Accepted September 29, 1995
- Published online March 1, 1996.
- Fred Morady, MD, FACC∗,
- S. Adam Strickberger, MD, FACC,
- K. Ching Man, DO,
- Emile Daoud, MD,
- Mark Niebauer, MD,
- Rajiva Goyal, MD,
- Mark Harvey, MD and
- Frank Bogun, MD
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Dr. Fred Morady, Division of Cardiology, University of Michigan Medical Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0022.
Objectives. The purpose of this study was to categorize the reasons for a prolonged or failed procedure in a series of patients undergoing catheter ablation of an accessory pathway.
Background. Radiofrequency ablation of accessory pathways at times requires a lengthy procedure or a second ablation session, or both, and no prior studies have systematically investigated the reasons for this.
Methods. In a consecutive series of 619 patients undergoing catheter ablation of an accessory pathway, the mean ablation time ±SD was 68 ± 64 min. The subjects of this study were 14 patients who had an ablation time >2 SD greater than the mean (>196 min) and 51 patients who required a second ablation session for a successful outcome. The accessory pathway in the 65 patients in this study was located in the right free wall in 19 patients (29%), septum in 14 (22%) and left free wall in 32 (49%).
Results. The primary reasons for a lenghty or failed ablation attempt were 1) inability to position the ablation catheter at the effective target site (16 patients, 25%); 2) instability of the ablation catheter or inadequate tissue contact at the target site, or both (15 patients, 23%); 3) mapping error due to an oblique course of the accessory pathway (7 patients, 11%); 4) failure to recognize a posteroseptal accessory pathway as being left-sided instead of right-sided (4 patients, 6%); 5) other errors in accessory pathway localization (6 patients, 9%); 6) epicardial location of the accessory pathway (5 patients, 8%); 7) recurrent atrial fibrillation (2 patients, 3%); 8) occurrence of a complication (2 patients, 3%); 9) unusual right-sided accessory pathway that inserted in the anterior right ventricle, 2 cm away from the lateral tricaspid annulus (1 patient, 1.5%); and 10) unexplained factors (7 patients, 11%). The most common effective strategies employed to achieve a successful outcome in these patients were 1) substitution of a more experienced operator; 2) use of ablation catheters of varying configurations; 3) switching from a retrograde aortic to a transseptal approach; 4) switching from an inferior to a superior vena caval approach; 5) use of a 60-cm guiding sheath; 6) detailed mapping of the atrial or ventricular insertion of the accessory pathway; and 7) searching within the coronary sinus for a presumed accessory pathway potential.
Conclusions. A lengthy or failed attempt at catheter ablation of an accessory pathway may be due to a variety of reasons, the most common of which are problems related to some aspect of catheter manipulation and errors in accessory pathway localization. Knowledge of the most common reasons for a lengthy or ineffective procedure may facilitate successful outcome of accessory pathway ablation.
- Received June 20, 1995.
- Revision received September 21, 1995.
- Accepted September 29, 1995.