Objectives: This study sought to describe arrhythmia characteristics using ultra-high density (UHD) mapping of macro-re-entrant left atrial flutter (LAFL) which propagate via epicardial bridging (EB), and highlight regional anatomy that poses challenges to ablation.
Background: Three-dimensional propagation via EB may contribute to the maintenance and complexity of LAFL.
Methods: UHD activation maps of macro-re-entrant LAFL created with a mini-electrode basket catheter were analyzed between June 2015 and March 2020. EB was defined as a region of wave front discontinuity with focal activation distal to an activation gap. Regions of EB were correlated with anatomic structures known to have specialized epicardial bundles. Direct evidence of EB was obtained via percutaneous epicardial access (n = 22) with simultaneous epicardial recordings during endocardial activation gaps.
Results: Among 159 patients who underwent LA endocardial procedures with UHD mapping, 43 patients with 47 macro-re-entrant LAFLs were included in this analysis. Evidence of EB was present in 38% of LAFLs. Four anatomic areas of EB were observed: coronary sinus (17%), vein of Marshall (28%), Bachmann's region (33%), and region of the septopulmonary bundle (22%). All 47 LAFLs were successfully ablated. Percutaneous epicardial mapping yielded direct evidence for EB in 9 patients with LAFL (41%). At 23 ± 13 months, 70% remained free from recurrent LAFL.
Conclusions: In a selected population, UHD mapping demonstrates evidence of EB in 38% of cases of LAFL involving 4 distinct epicardial anatomic regions. Identification of discontinuous 3-dimensional activation patterns with attention to correlative regional LA anatomy may reduce the incidence of ablation failures for complex re-entry.
Keywords: Bachmann; ablation; coronary sinus; electroanatomic mapping; epicardial; macro-re-entry; septopulmonary bundle; vein of Marshall.
Copyright © 2020 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.