Demonstration of dual atrioventricular nodal pathways utilizing a ventricular extrastimulus in patients with atrioventricular nodal re-entrant paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.
In patients with atrioventricular (A-V) nodal re-entrant paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), atrial extrastimulus technique frequently reveals discontinuous A1-A2, H1-H2 curves suggestive of dual A-V nodal pathways. To further test the hypothesis that these curves in fact reflect dual A-V nodal pathways, a ventricular extrastimulus (VS) was coupled either to A2 at a fixed A1-A2 interval which reliably produced an A-V nodal re-entrant atrial echo (E) with a constant A2-E interval in two patients, or to QRS complex (V) during sustained PSVT with a constant E-E interval in one patient. Three response zones were defined: at longer A2-VS or V-VS coupling interval, VS manifested no effect on the timing of E (Zone 1). At closer A2-VS or V-VS coupling interval, VS conducted to the atrium, shortening the apparent A2-E or E-E interval (Zone 2). At shortest A2-VS or V-VS coupling interval, VS was blocked retrogradely, and no E was induced (Zone 3). The ability of VS to preempt control of the atria (Zone 2 response) strongly suggests the presence of dual A-V nodal pathways in these PSVT patients. If only a single pathway were present, VS would of necessity collide with the antegrade impulse and could not reach the atria. The Zone 3 response occurs because of retrograde refractoriness of the fast pathway. Failure of the echo during Zone 3 probably reflects concealed conduction to the fast pathway, or possibly interference in the slow pathway.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association