Catheter ablation of atrial tachyarrhythmias in patients with atrioventricular septal defect

Europace. 2023 Aug 2;25(9):euad275. doi: 10.1093/europace/euad275.


Aims: The incidence of atrial tachyarrhythmias is high in patients with atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD). No specific data on catheter ablation have been reported so far in this population. We aimed to describe the main mechanisms of atrial tachyarrhythmias in patients with AVSD and to analyse outcomes after catheter ablation.

Methods and results: This observational multi-centric cohort study enrolled all patients with AVSD referred for catheter ablation of an atrial tachyarrhythmia at six tertiary centres from 2004 to 2022. The mechanisms of the different tachyarrhythmias targeted were described and outcomes were analysed. Overall, 56 patients (38.1 ± 17.4 years, 55.4% females) were included. A total of 87 atrial tachyarrhythmias were targeted (mean number of 1.6 per patient). Regarding main circuits involved, a cavo-annular isthmus-dependent intra-atrial re-entrant tachycardia (IART) was observed in 41 (73.2%) patients and an IART involving the right lateral atriotomy in 10 (17.9%) patients. Other tachyarrhythmias with heterogeneous circuits were observed in 13 (23.2%) patients including 11 left-sided and 4 right-sided tachyarrhythmias. Overall, an acute success was achieved in 54 (96.4%) patients, and no complication was reported. During a mean follow-up of 2.8 ± 3.8 years, 22 (39.3%) patients had at least one recurrence. Freedom from atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrences was 77.5% at 1 year. Among 15 (26.8%) patients who underwent repeated ablation procedures, heterogeneous circuits including bi-atrial and left-sided tachyarrhythmias were more frequent.

Conclusion: In patients with AVSD, most circuits involve the cavo-annular isthmus, but complex mechanisms are frequently encountered in patients with repeated procedures. The acute success rate is excellent, although recurrences remain common during follow-up.

Keywords: Atrial arrhythmia; Atrioventricular septal defect; Catheter ablation; Congenital heart disease.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Tachycardia / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia / surgery

Supplementary concepts

  • Atrioventricular Septal Defect