Catheter ablation using radiofrequency current to cure symptomatic patients with tachyarrhythmias related to an accessory atrioventricular pathway.
BACKGROUND Recent investigations have shown that cure of patients with symptomatic tachyarrhythmias related to an accessory atrioventricular pathway may be achieved by closed-chest electrode catheter ablation of the accessory connection. Direct current shocks have primarily been used for this purpose, but its applicability is limited because of the lack of controlled titration of electrical energy, the infliction of barotrauma, and the need for general anesthesia. Radiofrequency current has been proposed as an alternate energy source.
METHODS AND RESULTS Seventy-three symptomatic patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and 19 patients with only retrogradely conducting (concealed) pathways underwent ablative therapy with radiofrequency current. There were 71 accessory pathways located on the left side of the heart (57 free-wall and 14 posteroseptal pathways) and 25 on the right side (11 free-wall, seven posteroseptal, and seven midseptal or anteroseptal pathways). In patients with right-sided pathways, ablation was attempted via a catheter positioned at the atrial aspect of the tricuspid annulus. In patients with a left-sided free-wall accessory pathway, a novel approach was used in which the ablation catheter was positioned in the left ventricle directly below the mitral annulus. Accessory pathway conduction was permanently abolished in 79 patients (86%). Growing experience and improved catheter technology resulted in a 100% success rate after the 52nd consecutive patient. Failures were mainly the result of inadequate catheters used initially or an unfavorable approach to left posteroseptal pathways.
CONCLUSIONS Catheter ablation of accessory atrioventricular pathways by the use of radiofrequency current is an effective and safe therapeutic modality for patients with symptomatic tachyarrhythmias mediated by these pathways.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association