Treatment of ventricular tachycardia by transcatheter radiofrequency ablation in patients with ischemic heart disease.
BACKGROUND Recurrent sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) is not responsive to antiarrhythmic drugs in the majority of patients, who therefore need therapy with nonpharmacological methods. We evaluated prospectively the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of transcatheter radiofrequency (RF) ablation of VT in 21 selected patients with ischemic heart disease and VT.
METHODS AND RESULTS Twenty-one patients with ischemic heart disease and recurrent, drug-refractory VT documented by 12-lead ECG were selected who had sufficient hemodynamic tolerance of VT to undergo transcatheter mapping. Documented clinical VT was reproduced by programmed cardiac stimulation (PCS), and the site of origin was localized by a combination of techniques, including pace mapping, activation-sequence mapping, recordings of middiastolic potentials, and application of resetting and entrainment principles. RF current at 55 V was applied (3.8 +/- 3.1 applications per patient) for as long as 30 seconds at a time to target sites. Twenty-four distinct clinical VTs (mean cycle length, 445 +/- 52 milliseconds) were mapped and ablated in 21 patients. In 17 of 21 patients (81%), the procedure was acutely successful, and the target clinical VT could no longer be induced by PCS after the procedure, whereas in 4 patients, clinical VT remained inducible. By contrast, VTs with shorter cycle length and different QRS morphology than the ablated VT could still be induced by PCS in 12 of 21 patients. One patient died in intractable congestive heart failure 10 days after the procedure, and the remaining 20 are alive at the end of the follow-up period. The majority of the patients continued to be treated with at least one additional mode of antiarrhythmic therapy; 12 patients were still taking antiarrhythmic drugs, and 9 patients received an implantable cardioverter/defibrillator. During a mean follow-up period of 13.2 +/- 5.0 months, 9 of 20 patients (45%) had recurrent VT. In 4 patients, the recurrent VT was different than the previously ablated one. Clinical VT recurred in all 4 patients in whom RF ablation had been acutely unsuccessful. Four patients with recurrent VT underwent repeat RF ablation procedures that were acutely successful and had no further recurrence.
CONCLUSION Transcatheter RF ablation is feasible but has only moderately high efficacy in a small, selected group of patients with ischemic heart disease and drug-refractory, highly frequent, hemodynamically tolerated, sustained VT. In the majority of the patients, this treatment technique is palliative rather than definitive, and many of the patients continue to require other methods of antiarrhythmic therapy.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association