Author + information
- Received September 15, 1995
- Revision received February 23, 1996
- Accepted March 27, 1996
- Published online August 1, 1996.
- Brett M. Baker, MD,
- Bruce D. Lindsay, MD, FACC,
- Burt I. Bromberg, MD,
- David W. Frazier, MD,
- Michael E. Cain, MD, FACC and
- Joseph M. Smith, MD, PhD*
- ↵*Address for correspondence: Dr. Joseph M. Smith, Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Box 8086, Saint Louis, Missouri 63110.
Objectives. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of anatomically based radiofrequency catheter ablation for the treatment of intraatrial reentrant tachycardia in patients with previous atrial surgery.
Background. Intraatrial reentrant tachycardias, a common late complication of atrial surgery, are often refractory to standard medical management. Data from experimental animals and from humans indicate that anatomic barriers resulting from residual atrial scars provide a substrate for intraatrial reentry. We speculated that these tachycardias require a narrow isthmus of tissue between surgical scars and native nonconductive boundaries and that transection of this isthmus with radiofrequency ablation would therefore constitute an effective treatment.
Methods. Fourteen patients with a history of atrial surgery and clinical intraatrial reentrant tachycardia underwent electrophysiologic testing. From activation mapping, putative surgical scars and patches that served as boundaries of reentrant circuits were identified. Radiofrequency lesions were then placed to transect the narrowest isthmus of conducting tissue between a surgical scar and an anatomic barrier. Catheter ablation was attempted only for tachycardias consistent with the patient's clinical arrhythmias.
Results. Radiofrequency catheter ablation was attempted for 17 (55%) of 31 tachycardias identified; it successfully terminated tachycardias in 13 (93%) of 14 patients (95% confidence interval [CI] 79% to 99%). There were clinical recurrences in six patients (46%, 95% CI 19% to 73%), each of whom underwent a repeat ablation that was successful. Twelve (86%) of 14 patients (95% CI 67% to 99%) have remained free of intraatrial reentrant tachycardia for a mean of 7.5 ± 5.3 months.
Conclusions. Anatomically guided radiofrequency catheter ablation is an effective technique for definitive management of intraatrial reentrant tachycardia in patients with previous atrial surgery.
This work was supported by an American College of Cardiology-Merck Adult Cardiology Fellowship Award to Dr. Baker.
- Received September 15, 1995.
- Revision received February 23, 1996.
- Accepted March 27, 1996.
- American College of Cardiology