Monomorphic and polymorphic ventricular tachycardias arising from the His-Purkinje system: what do we know?

Future Cardiol. 2011 Nov;7(6):835-46. doi: 10.2217/fca.11.60.


Monomorphic and polymorphic Purkinje-related ventricular tachycardias (VTs) may occur in patients with and without underlying structural heart disease. Monomorphic Purkinje-related VTs can be divided into different entities: verapamil-sensitive left fascicular VTs; bundle branch reentry tachycardias (BBRT); interfascicular VTs and focal Purkinje VTs. The most frequent fascicular VT is left posterior fascicular VT, characterized by macro-reentry within the posterior Purkinje network. However, the reentry may also be located in the anterior Purkinje network (left anterior fascicular VT). BBRT is also a macro-reentry-tachycardia, utilizing both the right and the left bundle branch as the antegrade and the retrograde limb and is often associated with pre-existing conduction disturbances in the specific conduction system. Interfascicular VT is rare and characterized by a macro-reentry within the left fascicles. BBRT and interfascicular VT may also occur in the same patient. In contrast to the mentioned macro-reentry mechanisms there are focal Purkinje-related VTs arising from the anterior or posterior Purkinje system. Focal Purkinje triggered premature ventricular contractions originating from the distal Purkinje arborization in patients without a structural heart disease, as well as in patients with known ischemic heart disease or an underlying channelopathy such as Brugada syndrome may induce polymorphic VTs. Catheter ablation is an effective treatment option for both monomorphic as well as polymorphic Purkinje-related VTs, often resulting in noninducibility and freedom from VT recurrence. A systematic analysis of the surface ECG and the intracardiac electrograms is essential for successful ablation of these heterogeneous and potentially curable VTs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac
  • Humans
  • Purkinje Fibers / physiopathology*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / physiopathology*