Evaluation of the reentry vulnerability index to predict ventricular tachycardia circuits using high-density contact mapping

Heart Rhythm. 2020 Apr;17(4):576-583. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2019.11.013. Epub 2019 Nov 18.


Background: Identifying arrhythmogenic sites to improve ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation outcomes remains unresolved. The reentry vulnerability index (RVI) combines activation and repolarization timings to identify sites critical for reentrant arrhythmia initiation without inducing VT.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to provide the first assessment of RVI's capability to identify VT sites of origin using high-density contact mapping and comparison with other activation-repolarization markers of functional substrate.

Methods: Eighteen VT ablation patients (16 male; 72% ischemic) were studied. Unipolar electrograms were recorded during ventricular pacing and analyzed offline. Activation time (AT), activation-recovery interval (ARI), and repolarization time (RT) were measured. Vulnerability to reentry was mapped based on RVI and spatial distribution of AT, ARI, and RT. The distance from sites identified as vulnerable to reentry to the VT site of origin was measured, with distances <10 mm and >20 mm indicating accurate and inaccurate localization, respectively.

Results: The origins of 18 VTs (6 entrainment, 12 pace-mapping) were identified. RVI maps included 1012 (408-2098) (median, 1st-3rd quartiles) points per patient. RVI accurately localized 72.2% VT sites of origin, with median distance of 5.1 (3.2-10.1) mm. Inaccurate localization was significantly less frequent for RVI than AT (5.6% vs 33.3%; odds ratio 0.12; P = .035). Compared to RVI, distance to VT sites of origin was significantly larger for sites showing prolonged RT and ARI and were nonsignificantly larger for sites showing highest AT and ARI gradients.

Conclusion: RVI identifies vulnerable regions closest to VT sites of origin. Activation-repolarization metrics may improve VT substrate delineation and inform novel ablation strategies.

Keywords: Ablation; Activation time; Reentry vulnerability index; Repolarization time; Substrate mapping; Ventricular tachycardia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Surface Potential Mapping / methods*
  • Catheter Ablation / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology*
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / physiopathology*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / surgery