Memory T waves after radiofrequency catheter ablation of accessory atrioventricular connections in Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

J Electrocardiol. 1994 Jul;27(3):243-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-0736(94)80008-1.


Generalized, extensive electrical repolarization abnormalities, represented by negative or abnormally peaked T waves, are frequently observed after radiofrequency catheter ablation of overt accessory atrioventricular (AV) connections in Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. Two mechanisms have been proposed to explain these changes: subendocardial injury, secondary to the application of radiofrequency lesions, and memory T waves. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the electrocardiographic (ECG) changes in patients with overt and concealed accessory AV connections after ablation. Fifty-one patients with accessory AV connections who underwent successful radiofrequency ablation were included in the study. Twenty-four patients with clear, manifest, and permanent preexcitation (group 1) were compared with 27 patients with concealed accessory AV connections (group 2). Electrocardiograms were obtained in all patients before ablation, shortly after ablation (within 4 hours), and late after ablation (6 weeks). The frontal and horizontal QRS-T angles in the ECGs, number of lesions, total Joules applied, total peak creatine kinase, and total peak creatine kinase-MB units were compared in both groups. Of the 24 patients with overt accessory AV connections, 23 (95.8%) demonstrated repolarization abnormalities in the ECG shortly after the procedure that reverted almost completely at 6 weeks. Of the 27 patients with concealed accessory AV connections, only 2 (7.4%) demonstrated repolarization abnormalities after the ablation (P < .0001). The persistence of an abnormal QRS-T angle immediately after ablation in patients with overt accessory AV connections is caused by an abnormality in the T wave axis, opposite to the direction of the normal QRS axis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Atrioventricular Node / physiopathology*
  • Atrioventricular Node / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation* / instrumentation
  • Catheter Ablation* / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Heart Septum / physiopathology
  • Heart Septum / surgery
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / enzymology
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / surgery*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Creatine Kinase