Linear ablation lesions for control of unmappable ventricular tachycardia in patients with ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy

Circulation. 2000 Mar 21;101(11):1288-96. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.101.11.1288.


Background: Conventional activation mapping is difficult without inducible, stable ventricular tachycardia (VT).

Methods and results: We evaluated 16 patients with drug refractory, unimorphic, unmappable VT. Nine patients had ischemic and 7 had nonischemic cardiomyopathy. All patients had implantable defibrillators and had experienced 6 to 55 VT episodes during the month before treatment. Patients underwent bipolar catheter mapping during baseline rhythm. The amount of endocardium with an abnormal electrogram amplitude was estimated using fluoroscopy in 3 patients and a magnetic mapping system (CARTO) in 13 patients. For the magnetic mapping, normal endocardium was defined by an amplitude >1.5 mV; this measurement was based on sinus rhythm maps in 6 patients who did not have structural heart disease. Radiofrequency point lesions extended linearly from the "dense scar," which had a voltage amplitude <0.5 mV, to anatomic boundaries or normal endocardium. To limit radiofrequency applications, 12-lead ECG during VT and pacemapping guided placement of linear lesions. No new antiarrhythmic drug therapy was added. The amount of endocardium demonstrating an abnormal electrogram amplitude ranged from 25 to 127 cm(2). A total of 8 to 87 radiofrequency lesions (mean, 55) produced a median of 4 linear lesions that had an average length of 3.9 cm (range, 1.4 to 9. 4 cm). Twelve patients (75%) have been free of VT during 3 to 36 months of follow-up (median, 8 months); 4 patients had VT episodes at 1, 3, 9, and 13 months, respectively. Only one of these patient had frequent VT.

Conclusions: Radiofrequency linear endocardial lesions extending from the dense scar to the normal myocardium or anatomic boundary seem effective in controlling unmappable VT.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial
  • Cardiomyopathies / complications*
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / physiopathology
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Endocardium / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / complications*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Postoperative Period
  • Recurrence
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / complications*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / diagnostic imaging
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / physiopathology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / surgery*