The incidence and clinical significance of epicardial late potentials in patients with recurrent sustained ventricular tachycardia and coronary artery disease.
Seventy-eight patients with ventricular tachycardia associated with coronary artery disease underwent intraoperative mapping while in sinus rhythm to evaluate the frequency and significant of late potentials. In 30 of these patients, the surface ECG was subjected to signal averaging to correlate the incidence and duration of low-amplitude, delayed electrograms with the presence of late potentials recorded during epicardial mapping. One to four epicardial late potentials were observed in nine patients (11.5%). These nine patients did not differ hemodynamically from patients without late potentials. In four patients, the site of epicardial breakthrough during ventricular tachycardia bore no relationship (i.e., greater than 3 cm away) to the late potential or the site of origin of the tachycardia. In the five other patients with late potentials, epicardial breakthrough and site of origin of ventricular tachycardia were closely related to the free wall of an apical aneurysm. However, three of these patients had additional tachycardias from disparate sites. Twenty-seven of 30 patients in whom signal averaging was used had a low-amplitude signal in the terminal 40 msec of the amplified QRS complex. In 24 of these 27 patients (89%), the low-amplitude tail was demonstrated in the absence of epicardial late potentials. We conclude that epicardial late potentials are found infrequently in patients with ventricular tachycardia associated with coronary artery disease; epicardial late potentials cannot be used to localize ventricular tachycardia; and the specific low-amplitude tail on the signal-averaged electrogram is unrelated to epicardial events.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association