Percutaneous catheter modification of the atrioventricular node. A potential cure for atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia.
Our purpose was to describe a technique of atrioventricular (AV) node modification for patients with drug refractory AV nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT). Nine patients (mean age, 45 +/- 20; range, 14-82) with recurrent drug refractory AVNRT (n = 8) or sudden cardiac death thought to be precipitated by AVNRT (n = 1) underwent a percutaneous catheter procedure to modify AV nodal function. The area between the electrode recording the maximal His-bundle electrogram and the ostium of the coronary sinus was divided into three zones. Perinodal direct current shocks of 100-300 J were delivered to one (n = 2), two (n = 3), or three (n = 4) zones without complications. The procedure endpoints were modification of AV conduction (either first degree AV block or complete retrograde ventriculo-atrial [VA] block) and failure to induce AVNRT before or after isoproterenol and/or atropine administration. Six of nine patients (67%) have had no inducible or spontaneous AVNRT over a mean follow-up of 12.3 +/- 4.1 months (range, 4.5-17). One of the six underwent repeat, successful modification, because AVNRT was inducible at restudy 2 days after the initial procedure. AVNRT recurred in three patients (33%), one early (3 days) and two late (3-4 months). Two of these patients underwent complete ablation of the AV junction and permanent pacemaker placement, whereas one is controlled with drug therapy. Therefore, AV nodal modification resulted in tachycardia control without antiarrhythmic drugs in six of nine (67%) and obviated the need for complete AV junctional ablation in seven of nine patients (78%). Elimination of AVNRT appears to result from either block in the retrograde fast pathway or modification of the antegrade slow pathway, such that AVNRT cannot be sustained. Additional findings suggest that an atrio-Hisian accessory connection may not be involved in AVNRT in some of these patients. Percutaneous catheter AV nodal modification appears to be a promising technique for treatment of refractory AVNRT and may obviate need for complete AV junctional ablation in a substantial number of patients with drug/pacemaker refractory AVNRT.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association