Cryoablation of drug-resistant ventricular tachycardia in a patient with a variant of scleroderma.
A 37-year-old man with a benign variant of scleroderma (CRST syndrome: calcinosis circumscripta, Raynaud's phenomenon, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia) presented with recurrent ventricular tachycardia. Preoperative electrophysiologic study suggested that the mechanism of tachycardia was an ectopic pacemaker focus in the right ventricle. Right ventricular dilatation, tricuspid insufficiency, normal pulmonary pressures, and normal coronary arteries were also demonstrated. At surgery, epicardial mapping localized the site of origin of ventricular tachycardia to the anterior right ventricle near the crista supraventricular. Intramural recordings of the site of tachycardia demonstrated autonomous activity unreflected on the peripheral ECG during brief periods of sinus rhythm. Local epicardial cooling of this area with a cryoprobe promptly terminated ventricular tachycardia with resumption of tachycardia on warming. The focus was ablated by freezing the area at -60 degrees C. The patient remained free of dysrhythmia on no anti-arrhythmic agents for eight months at which time he had a single recurrence of ventricular tachycardia from a different site in the right ventricle. This technique offers a method for ablating sites of dysrhythmia arising in diffusely diseased myocardium.
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