Abstract 637: Utilization of Retrograde Right Bundle Branch Block to Differentiate Atrio Ventricular Nodal from Accessory Pathway Conduction
Determining whether retrograde ventriculoatrial (VA) conduction is through the AV node (AVN) or an accessory pathway (AP) is critical for successful ablation of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). With introduction of ventricular extrastimuli (VEST), retrograde right bundle branch block (retro RBBB) may occur and result in abrupt VH interval prolongation. We hypothesized when retrograde conduction is via an AP, VA interval change is less than VH interval change, whereas with retrograde AVN conduction, VA interval change is equal to or greater than VH interval change. We retrospectively reviewed the electrophysiology (EP) studies of patients undergoing ablation for AVNRT (n=55) or AVRT (n=50). The intracardiac electrograms were reviewed for induction of retro RBBB and change in VH and VA intervals during VEST. Parahisian pacing, decremental pacing, arrhythmia diagnosis and ablation outcomes were reviewed. All results were found to be reproducible between two independent observers with inter and intra observer reliability scores of 1.00 for identification of retro RBBB and greater than 0.85 for measurement of VH and VA intervals. Of 105 patients, 84 (80%) had evidence of induced retro RBBB during VEST. The average VH interval increase with induction of retro RBBB was 53.7 ms for patients with retrograde AP conduction and 54.4 ms for patients with AVN conduction (p=ns). The average VA interval increase with induction of retro RBBB was 13.6 ms with AP conduction and 70.1 ms with AVN conduction (P < 0.001). All patients with a greater VH than VA interval change had a final diagnosis of AVRT and those with a VH change less than VA change had AVNRT, yielding sensitivity and specificity of 100%. Using a cutoff of 50 ms for change in VA interval with onset of retro RBBB to diagnose AVNRT accurately identified AVNRT in 100% and AVRT in 95%. Induction of retro RBBB during VEST is common during EP studies for SVT. The relative change in the VH and VA intervals during retro RBBB accurately differentiates retrograde AVN from retrograde AP conduction with strong predictive accuracy. The use of retro RBBB based intervals is a useful technique facilitating the diagnosis of SVT in the EP laboratory, even in the absence of inducible tachycardia.