Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia: studies on upper and lower 'common pathways'.
Electrophysiologic studies were performed in 28 patients with documented atrioventricular (AV) nodal reentrant supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) to investigate the presence of AV nodal tissue situated between the tachycardia circuit and both the atrium (upper common pathway, UCP) and the His bundle (lower common pathway, LCP). All patients demonstrated a 1:1 AV relationship during SVT. The study protocol consisted of atrial then ventricular pacing at the SVT cycle length. UCPs were manifested in eight of 28 (29%) patients by either antegrade AV Wenckebach (six patients) or a paced atrium-His (AH) interval exceeding the AH in SVT (two patients, differences 5 and 9 msec). LCPs were manifested in 21 of 28 (75%) patients by either retrograde Wenckebach periodicity (two patients) or a paced HA interval exceeding the HA in SVT (19 patients, mean difference 25 +/- 20 msec). By these criteria, eight patients (29%) had evidence for both UCPs and LCPs. UCPs were more likely than LCPs to be manifested by Wenckebach criteria (p less than .05). Thus the AV nodal reentrant SVT circuit appears to be intranodal and is frequently surrounded by AV nodal tissue (UCP and LCP), antegrade and retrograde conduction properties of these common pathways are discordant in some cases, and conduction properties of UCP tissue differ from those of LCP tissue. These findings may have relevance in that the UCP or LCP may limit the ability of premature extrastimuli to penetrate the circuit to initiate or terminate AV nodal SVT.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association