Radiofrequency catheter ablation of right atriofascicular (Mahaim) accessory pathways guided by accessory pathway activation potentials.
BACKGROUND Accessory pathways (APs) exhibiting "Mahaim fiber" physiology (antegrade conduction only, long conduction time, and decremental properties) often connect the lateral right atrium to the right bundle branch (right atriofascicular pathways). Potentials from these pathways have not been recorded previously. The purpose of this study was to determine whether AP activation potentials could be recorded from right atriofascicular APs and to determine whether these potentials could be used to localize a site for catheter ablation.
METHODS AND RESULTS Of 26 consecutive patients referred for catheter ablation of an AP producing a preexcited (antidromic) atrioventricular (AV) reentrant tachycardia having a left bundle branch block pattern with short ventriculoatrial and long AV intervals, 23 (88.5%) were found to have a right atriofascicular AP. During antidromic AV reentrant tachycardia, (1) right atrial extrastimuli (that did not penetrant tachycardia, (1) right atrial extrastimuli (that did not penetrate the AV node) advanced the timing of the next QRS complex, indicating that the AP was connected to the right atrium; (2) earliest antegrade ventricular activation was recorded at the apical right ventricular free wall, and (3) ventricular activation was preceded by activation of the distal right bundle branch, indicating a fascicular insertion or a ventricular insertion close to the terminus of the right bundle branch. A single, discrete, high-frequency AP potential was recorded at the lateral, anterolateral, or posterolateral tricuspid annulus in 22 of the 23 patients 63 +/- 12 milliseconds after the local atrial potential and 83 +/- 23 milliseconds before the local ventricular potential during sinus rhythm. The AP potential was also recorded at sites along the right ventricular free wall between the tricuspid annulus and the site of earliest ventricular activation at the apical region. Programmed atrial stimulation and adenosine each produced prolongation of AP conduction time because of an increase in the A-AP interval and Wenckebach block proximal to the AP potential. Radiofrequency current applied at a site recording the AP potential (tricuspid annulus in 19 patients and right ventricular free wall in 3 patients) eliminated AP conduction in all 22 patients. Tachycardia has not recurred in any patient during 18 +/- 13 months of follow-up. AP conduction was absent in all 9 patients who had a follow-up electrophysiological study 3.8 +/- 1.7 months after ablation.
CONCLUSIONS Right atriofascicular APs consist of two components. The proximal component is located at the lateral, anterolateral, or posterolateral tricuspid annulus, does not generate an AP potential recordable by catheter electrodes, and is responsible for the decremental conduction properties. The "distal" component extends from the tricuspid annulus to the distal right bundle branch at the apical right ventricular free wall and generates a large, high-frequency AP potential that accurately identifies a site for ablation.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association