Identification of reentry circuit sites during catheter mapping and radiofrequency ablation of ventricular tachycardia late after myocardial infarction.
BACKGROUND Ventricular tachycardia reentry circuits in chronic infarct scars can contain slow conduction zones, which are difficult to distinguish from bystander areas adjacent to the circuit during catheter mapping. This study developed criteria for identifying reentry circuit sites using computer simulations. These criteria then were tested during catheter mapping in humans to predict sites at which radiofrequency current application terminated ventricular tachycardia.
METHODS AND RESULTS In computer simulations, effects of single stimuli and stimulus trains at sites in and adjacent to reentry circuits were analyzed. Entrainment with concealed fusion, defined as ventricular tachycardia entrainment with no change in QRS morphology, could occur during stimulation in reentry circuit common pathways and adjacent bystander sites. Pacing at reentry circuit common pathway sites, the stimulus to QRS (S-QRS) interval equals the electrogram to QRS interval (EG-QRS) during tachycardia. The postpacing interval from the last stimulus to the following electrogram equals the tachycardia cycle length. Pacing at bystander sites the S-QRS exceeds the EG-QRS interval when the conduction time from the bystander site to the circuit is short but may be less than or equal to the EG-QRS interval when the conduction time to the circuit is long. The postpacing interval, however, always exceeds the tachycardia cycle length. When conduction in the circuit slows during pacing, the S-QRS and postpacing intervals increase and the slowest stimulus train most closely reflects conduction times during tachycardia. Endocardial catheter mapping and radiofrequency ablation were performed during 31 monomorphic ventricular tachycardias in 15 patients with drug refractory ventricular tachycardia late after myocardial infarction. During ventricular tachycardia, trains of electrical stimuli or scanning single stimuli were evaluated before application of radiofrequency current at the same site. Radiofrequency current terminated ventricular tachycardia at 24 of 241 sites (10%) in 12 of 15 patients (80%). Ventricular tachycardia termination occurred more frequently at sites with entrainment with concealed fusion (odds ratio, 3.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 8.3), a postpacing interval approximating the ventricular tachycardia cycle length (odds ratio, 4.6; 95% CI, 1.6 to 12.9) and an S-QRS interval during entrainment of more than 60 milliseconds and less than 70% of the ventricular tachycardia cycle length (odds ratio, 4.9; 95% CI, 1.4 to 17.1). Ventricular tachycardia termination was also predicted by the presence of isolated diastolic potentials or continuous electrical activity (odds ratio, 5.2; 95% CI, 1.8 to 15.5), but these electrograms were infrequent (8% of all sites). Combinations of entrainment with concealed fusion, postpacing interval, S-QRS intervals, and isolated diastolic potentials or continuous electrical activity predicted a more than 35% incidence of ventricular tachycardia termination during radiofrequency current application versus a 4% incidence when none suggested that the site was in the reentry circuit. Analysis of the postpacing interval and S-QRS interval suggested that 25% of the sites with entrainment with concealed fusion were in bystander areas not within the reentry circuit. At restudy 5 to 7 days later, 6 patients had no monomorphic ventricular tachycardia inducible, and inducible ventricular tachycardias were modified in 4 patients. None of these 10 patients have suffered arrhythmia recurrences during a follow-up of 316 +/- 199 days, although 4 continue to receive previously ineffective medications.
CONCLUSIONS Regions giving rise to reentry after myocardial infarction are complex and can include bystander areas, slow conduction zones, and isthmuses for impulse propagation at which radiofrequency current lesions can interrupt reentry.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association