Success, safety, and late electrophysiological outcome of low-energy direct-current ablation in patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
BACKGROUND Percutaneous ablation of accessory pathways with the use of a defibrillator can be accomplished with high-energy direct-current (DC) shocks of 150-400 J, but complications include cardiac tamponade and sudden cardiac death, mostly resulting from significant electrical arcing and barotrauma. A new low-energy DC power source with a brief time-constant capacitive discharge delivers shocks of 2-40 J and eliminates or greatly reduces arcing. This report describes our initial experience with this device in 60 consecutive patients (mean age, 34 years; range, 9-67 years) with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Accessory pathways were located in the left free wall in 36 patients, in the right free wall in two, were posteroseptal in 18, and anteroseptal in four. Most patients (77%) had their initial diagnostic electrophysiological study and catheter ablation during the same session.
METHODS AND RESULTS Selective ablation of accessory pathways was successful in 55 patients (92%). The mean cumulative energy was 312 +/- 284 J and the mean creatine kinase MB peak (normal, 0-30 units) was 42 +/- 27 units. Patients with left free wall accessory pathways required less procedure time for ablation (2.7 +/- 0.8 versus 3.6 +/- 1.5 hours, p less than 0.0007) and less fluoroscopy time (46 +/- 24 versus 66 +/- 33 minutes, p less than 0.002). Complications were limited to transient pericarditis (three patients), one iliac artery dissection, and cardiac tamponade probably caused by catheter repositioning in the coronary sinus (one patient). An electrophysiological study was repeated in 50 of the 55 successful cases at a mean of 9 +/- 5 months. This study was normal in 48 of 50 (96%) patients.
CONCLUSIONS Low-energy DC ablation is safe and effective treatment for accessory pathways in children and adults. The long-term outcome is excellent as documented by electrophysiological restudy.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association