Abstract 4092: Initial Experience with Subxiphoid Percutaneous Epicardial Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation in Patients with Prior Cardiac Surgery
Introduction: Epicardial ablation via subxiphoid percutaenous access improves VT ablation success rate and is growing in popularity. However, it is unclear if this technique is feasible in patients with prior cardiac surgery because of pericardial adhesions. We describe results in our initial 12 patients with previous cardiac surgery.
Methods: A total of 27 patients (11 women) underwent an epicardial VT ablation after failed antiarrhythmic drug therapy and at least one endocardial ablation. Twelve patients had undergone previous cardiac surgery (7 CABG, 3 valve only, 2 combined). The pericardium was accessed using a Tuohy needle. Then a guidewire and an irrigated tip catheter were used to free up adhesions. VT was mapped and ablated. We compared the results in patients with and without prior surgery.
Results: There was no difference in the age (62±11 vs 58±13 years, p=ns), percent women (41 vs 40%, p=ns), EF (30±9 vs 27±11, p=ns), NYHA class (2.4±1.0 vs 2.1±0.9, p=ns) or use of beta-blockers (100 vs 93%, p=ns) or ACE inhibtors (100 vs 93%, p=ns) among patients with and without prior cardiac surgery. However, patients with prior surgery were more likely to have CAD (100 vs 66% p=0.02) and be on ASA (100 vs 73%, p=0.04.) The mean procedure (298±90 vs 178±45 min, p=0.01) and fluoroscopy time (106±24 vs 45±11 min, p=0.01) was longer in patients with prior surgery versus without surgery. The entire epicardium was mapped in 15/15 (100%) of the nonsurgical patients but only in 7/11 (64%) of the surgical patients due to adhesions (p=0.02.) The acute success rate, defined as elimination of all clinical VTs, was lower in the surgical group (75 vs 100%, p=0.02). Elimination of all VTs was achieved less often in post-surgical patient than non-surgical patients (58 vs 80%, p=0.04.) There were two occurrences of RV perforation in each group both treated with conservative therapy. There were no other complications. After 7±2 months, 66% of surgical patients and 80% of non-surgical patients were VT free (p=0.04) as monitored by ICD or 1, 3, and 6 month monitor. One patient in non-surgical group died of heart failure.
Conclusion: Prior cardiac surgery does not preclude epicardial VT ablation but is associated with longer procedure times and lower success rates.