Cryosurgical ablation of the A-V node-His bundle: a new method for producing A-V block.
A cryosurgical instrument was used to ablate atrioventricular conduction. The procedure was carried out in 20 dogs and subsequently in three patients with drug resistant, life-threatening supraventricular tachycardias. In patients, the cryosurgical unit lowered the temperature of the His bundle area to 0 degrees C, effecting complete but reversible heart block. Rewarming resulted in resumption of normal atrioventricular conduction. The His bundle region then was cooled to -60 degrees C; complete heart block was produced with two or more 90-120 second freezes. Postoperative evaluations revealed persistent atrioventricular conduction block. The lesion showed no tendency to rupture, form aneurysm, or interfere with valvular function. In the clinical cases, postoperative studies demonstrated a stable pacemaker arising proximal to the branching portion of the His bundle. A potential application of the cryosurgical technique might be ablation of sites of dysrhythmia (i.e., ectopic foci, re-entry circuits, accessory pathways).
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association