Transcatheter ablation of ectopic atrial tachycardia in young patients using radiofrequency current.
BACKGROUND Ectopic atrial tachycardia (EAT) is a reversible cause of cardiomyopathy but may be quite difficult to control with conventional therapy. Transcatheter ablation with radiofrequency current was tested as an alternative to medical or surgical treatment of this condition.
METHODS AND RESULTS Twelve young patients (aged 10 months to 19 years) with drug-resistant EAT were treated with direct transcatheter ablation of the ectopic focus using radiofrequency (RF) energy. All had depressed left ventricular contractility by echocardiographic criteria, involving shortening fractions of 10-26% (median, 20%; normal, 28-35%). The EAT was mapped to the left atrium in seven cases and to the right atrium in five. Local atrial activation at the ectopic site preceded the onset of the surface P wave by 20-60 msec (median, 42 msec). Tachycardia terminated 0.5-13.0 seconds (median, 2.0 seconds) into a successful RF application. The ablation effectively eliminated EAT in 11 of 12 patients (92%), all of whom were discharged in sinus rhythm without medications after a median hospital stay of 48 hours. Ablation was unsuccessful in one patient with diffuse dysplasia of the anterior right atrium, who eventually did well after surgical resection of abnormal atrial tissue. Transient depression of sinus node function was noted in one patient who had successful ablation of an EAT focus in close proximity to the sinus node, although normal sinus node function returned within 72 hours. No other complications were encountered. During follow-up (3-21 months; median, 13 months), one patient had recurrence of a slower and less-sustained EAT that was successfully eliminated at a second ablation session. All others remained in sinus rhythm, and all 12 subjects recovered normal ventricular function.
CONCLUSIONS RF ablation appears to be a safe and effective therapeutic option for drug-resistant ectopic atrial tachycardia and may be the preferred first-line therapy for those patients with depressed ventricular function.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association