Localization of the fast and slow pathways in atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia by intraoperative ice mapping.
BACKGROUND Atrioventricular (AV) nodal reentrant tachycardia is classically described as a reentrant rhythm entirely contained within the compact AV node. Although the concepts of longitudinal dissociation of two intranodal pathways and a distal common pathway are accepted, the proximal portion of the circuit remains undefined. Current reports suggest that the two pathways may be separable by atrial tissue and not contained entirely within the compact node.
METHODS AND RESULTS We used an ice mapping method to demonstrate the slow and fast pathways of the reentrant circuit and their relation to the atrial septum around the AV node. Six patients with the usual form (slow-fast) of AV nodal reentrant tachycardia were mapped during surgery. In most patients, antegrade slow pathway localization was posterior and inferior to the compact AV node along the tricuspid annulus; in two patients, it was superior along the tendon of Todaro. Retrograde fast pathway localization was anterior or superior to the compact AV node in all patients. In all patients, anatomic distinction was made between the two pathways and the compact node.
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that no upper common pathway exists within the compact AV node in the usual type of nodal reentrant tachycardia and that the perinodal atrial tissue is a requisite part of the tachycardia circuit.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association