Yoav Michowitz

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States

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Publications (34)143.18 Total impact

  • Yoav Michowitz, Bernard Belhassen
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    ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia and its prevalence increases significantly with age. This editorial discusses the review by Laish-Farkash et al. regarding ablation of atrial fibrillation, especially in the elderly, as well as new ablation modalities.
    Harefuah 07/2014; 153(7):394-6, 433.
  • Article: Abstracts.
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    ABSTRACT: There is a paucity of data on biophysical parameters during radiofrequency ablation of scar-mediated ventricular tachycardia (VT).
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 06/2014; · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is a paucity of data on biophysical parameters during radiofrequency ablation of scar-mediated ventricular tachycardia (VT).Methods and ResultsData was collected from consecutive patients undergoing VT ablation with open-irrigation. Complete data was available for 372 lesions in 21 patients. The frequency of biophysical parameter changes were: >10Ω reduction (80%), bipolar EGM reduction (69%), while loss of capture was uncommon (32%). Unipolar injury current was seen in 72% of radiofrequency applications. Both EGM reduction and impedance drop were seen in 57% and a change in all 3 parameters was seen in only 20% of lesions. Late potentials were eliminated in 33%, reduced/modified in 56%, and remained after ablation in 11%. Epicardial lesions exhibited an impedance drop (90% vs 76%, p = 0.002) and loss of capture (46% vs 27%, p<0.001) more frequently than endocardial lesions. Lesions delivered manually exhibited a >10Ω impedance drop (83% vs 71%, p = 0.02) and an EGM reduction (71% vs 40%, p< 0.001) more frequently than lesions applied using magnetic navigation, although loss of capture, elimination of LPs, and a change in all 3 parameters were similarly observed.ConclusionsVT ablation is inefficient as the majority of radiofrequency lesions do not achieve more than one targeted biophysical parameter. Only one-third of RF applications targeted at LPs result in complete elimination. Epicardial ablation within scar may be more effective than endocardial lesions and lesions applied manually may be more effective than lesions applied using magnetic navigation. New technologies directed at identifying and optimizing ablation effectiveness in scar are clinically warranted.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 06/2014; · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: -Cardiac tamponade is the most dramatic complication observed during atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation and the leading cause of procedure-related mortality. Female gender is a known risk factor for complications during AF ablation; however, it is unknown whether women have a higher risk of tamponade. -A systematic Medline search was used to locate academic electrophysiologic (EP) centers that reported cases of tamponade occurring during AF ablation. Centers were asked to provide information on cases of acute tamponade according to gender and their mode of management including any case of related mortality. Nineteen EP centers provided information on 34,943 ablation procedures involving 25,261 (72%) males. Overall 289 (0.9%) cases of tamponade were reported: 120 (1.24%) in females and 169 (0.67%) in males (odds ratio 1.83, P<0.001). There was a reciprocal association between center volume and the occurrence of tamponade with substantial lower risk in high volume centers. Most cases of tamponade occurred during catheter manipulation or ablation; females tended to develop more tamponades during transseptal catheterization. No gender difference in the mode of management was observed. However, 16% cases of tamponade required surgery with lower rates in high volume centers. Three cases of tamponade (1%) culminated in death. -Tamponade during AF ablation procedures is relatively rare. Women have an almost twofold higher risk for developing this complication. The risk of tamponade among women decreases substantially in high volume centers. Surgical back-up and acute management skills for treating tamponade are important in centers performing AF ablation.
    Circulation Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 02/2014; · 5.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) frequently requires postprocedural permanent pacemaker (PPM) implantation. We evaluated clinical and hemodynamic impact of PPM after TAVI. Clinical and echocardiographic data were retrospectively analyzed in 230 consecutive patients who underwent TAVI and echocardiography at baseline and after 6 months. Echocardiographic parameters included left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), left ventricular (LV) stroke volume, early mitral velocity/annulus velocity ratio (E/e'), right ventricular index of myocardial performance, systolic pulmonary artery pressure (SPAP), and aortic, mitral, and tricuspid regurgitation grades. Clinical outcomes included 2-year survival and cardiovascular and PPM-related event-free survival. The Medtronic CoreValve and Edwards Sapien prosthesis were used in 201 and 29 patients, respectively. PPM was required in 58 patients (25.4%). Two-year and event-free survival rates were similar between patients with and without PPM. At 6 months, patients with PPM demonstrated attenuated improvement in LVEF (-0.9 ± 8.7% vs 2.3 ± 10.8%, respectively, p = 0.03) and LV stroke volume (-2 ± 16 vs 4 ± 10 ml/m(2), respectively, p = 0.015), a trend toward smaller reduction in systolic pulmonary artery pressure (-1 ± 12 vs -6 ± 10 mm Hg, respectively, p = 0.09), and deterioration of right ventricular index of myocardial performance (-3 ± 17% vs 5 ± 26%, respectively, p = 0.05). The differences in post-TAVI aortic, mitral, and tricuspid regurgitation grades were insignificant. In conclusion, PPM implantation after TAVI is associated with reduced LVEF and impaired LV unloading. However, this unfavorable hemodynamic response does not affect the 2-year clinical outcome. The maintenance of clinical benefit appears to be driven by TAVI-related recovery of LV and right ventricular performance that mitigates unfavorable impact of PPM.
    The American journal of cardiology 10/2013; · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background During radiofrequency (RF) ablation of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF), a circular multielectrode recording “lasso” catheter is generally positioned inside each pulmonary vein (PV) to determine when PV potentials (PVP) are present and when they have have been ablated. The new circular irrigated-multipolar ablation-catheter (nMARQ) is positioned in the left atrium to create contiguous circular ablation lines around each PV ostium. Objectives To determine if the recordings obtained from the nMARQ catheter position around the PV ostium accurately reproduce the recordings obtained from a lasso catheter positioned within that vein. Methods In 10 patients undergoing RFA of PAF, we placed an nMARQ and a lasso catheter around and within each PV, respectively. Recordings obtained from both catheters at baseline and following RF ablation were compared. Results At baseline, recordings of PVPs in both catheters were concordant in 92% of all PVs. However, following RF delivery, the concordance between the nMARQ and lasso recordings was poor. The discordant result most commonly observed was disappearance of “PVPs” from the nMARQ with persistence of PVPs in the lasso (12/39, 30%). Conversely, delivery of RF frequently resulted in fragmented electrograms (pseudo-PVPs) on the nMARQ despite evidence of PV isolation by lasso catheter recordings. Conclusions Use of an nMARQ catheter alone, as currently recommended, may lead to under-estimation and over-estimation of the number of RF applications required to achieve PV isolation.
    Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 01/2013; · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Epicardial ablation has been shown to be a useful adjunct for treatment of ventricular tachycardia (VT). OBJECTIVE: To report the trends, safety and efficacy of epicardial mapping and ablation at a single center over an eight-year period. METHODS: Patients referred for VT ablation (6/2004-6/2011) were divided into three groups: ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM), nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM), and idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias (VA). Scar-mediated VT patients that underwent combined epicardial and endocardial (epi-endo) mapping and ablation were compared with those that underwent endocardial ablation only (endo-only) with regards to patient characteristics, acute procedural success, 6 month and 12 month clinical outcomes. RESULTS: Amongst 144 patients referred for VT ablation, 95 patients underwent 109 epicardial procedures (94% access rate). Major complications were seen in 8 patients (8.8%) with pericardial bleeding (>80cc) in 6 cases (6.7%), although no tamponade, surgical intervention, or procedural mortality was seen. Patients with ICM who underwent a combined epi-endo ablation had improved freedom from VT compared to those with endo-only ablation at 12 months (85% vs 56%, p=0.03). In NICM patients, no differences were seen between those that underwent epi-endo ablation compared to those with endo-only ablation at 12 months (36% vs 33%, p=1.0). In idiopathic VA, only 2/17 patients were successfully ablated from the epicardium. CONCLUSIONS: In this large tertiary single-center experience, complication rates are acceptably low and improved clinical outcomes were associated with epi-endo ablation in ICM patients. NICM patients represent a growing referred population, although clinical recurrence remains high despite epicardial ablation. Epicardial ablation has a low yield in idiopathic VA.
    Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 12/2012; · 4.56 Impact Factor
  • Circulation Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 10/2012; 5(5):e101. · 5.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The usefulness of unipolar electrograms (EGMs) has been reported in assessing lesion transmurality and conduction block along ablation lines. It is unknown whether unipolar and bipolar EGM characteristics predict exit block during pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) procedures. Methods and Results: Twenty patients (63 ± 7 years; 14 males [70%]) undergoing PVI with a circular mapping catheter (CMC) placed outside each PV ostium were retrospectively studied. After entrance block was achieved, pacing at each bipole around the CMC was performed to assess for absence of atrial capture (exit block). Bipolar EGMs recorded before pacing were examined for voltage, duration, fractionation, and monophasic morphology. Unipolar EGMs were examined for positive and negative amplitude, PQ segment elevation, fractionation, and monophasic morphology. The association of these parameters with atrial capture (absence of exit block) at each site was analyzed. After achievement of entrance block, only 23 of 64 PV antra (36%) exhibited exit block. Unipolar EGMs at sites with persistent capture were more likely to be fractionated and had larger negative deflections. Bipolar EGMs at sites with persistent capture showed higher amplitude, longer duration, were more likely to be fractionated, and were less likely to be monophasic. In a multivariate logistic regression model, bipolar and unipolar fractionation, bipolar duration, and lack of bipolar monophasic morphology were independently associated with persistent atrial capture. Conclusion: Specific unipolar and bipolar EGM characteristics are associated with left atrium capture after PV antral isolation. These parameters might be useful in predicting the need for further ablation to achieve exit block. (PACE 2012; 00:1-8).
    Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 08/2012; · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ventricular tachycardia as a late complication of blunt chest trauma has never been reported. We present a case of combined endocardial and epicardial delineation of the right ventricular arrhythmogenic substrate, where other causes of cardiomyopathy were excluded. The epicardial scar was more extensive than endocardial scar, and the central isthmus was likely intramural. A history of blunt chest trauma should be considered in patients with right ventricular cardiomyopathy.
    Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 05/2012; 35(5):e127-30. · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myocardial scars harbor areas of slow conduction and display abnormal electrograms. Pace-mapping at these sites can generate a 12-lead ECG morphological match to a targeted ventricular tachycardia (VT), and in some instances, multiple exit morphologies can result. At times, this can also result in the initiation of VT, termed pace-mapped induction (PMI). We hypothesized that in patients undergoing catheter ablation of VT, scar substrates with multiple exit sites (MES) identified during pace-mapping have improved freedom from recurrent VT, and PMI of VT predicts successful sites of termination during ablation. High-density mapping was performed in all subjects to delineate scar (0.5-1.5 mV). Sites with abnormal electrograms were tagged, stimulated (bipolar 10 mA at 2 ms), and targeted for ablation. MES was defined as >1 QRS morphology from a single pacing site. PMI was defined as initiation of VT during pace-mapping (400-600 ms). In a 2-year period, 44 consecutive patients with scar-mediated VT underwent mapping and ablation. MES were observed during pace-mapping in 25 patients (57%). At 9 months, 74% of patients who exhibited MES during pace-mapping had no recurrence of VT compared with 42% of those without MES observed (P=0.024), with an overall freedom from VT of 61%. Thirteen patients (30%) demonstrated PMI, and termination of VT was seen in 95% (18/19) of sites where ablation was performed. During pace-mapping, electrograms that exhibit MES and PMI may be specific for sites critical to reentry. These functional responses hold promise for identifying important sites for catheter ablation of VT.
    Circulation Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 02/2012; 5(2):264-72. · 5.95 Impact Factor
  • Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 08/2011; 35(1):97-9. · 1.75 Impact Factor
  • Future Cardiology 05/2011; 7(3):273-6.
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the incidence, mechanism, and clinical implications of atrioventricular (AV) block during catheter radiofrequency (RF) ablation of the cavotricuspid isthmus (CTI). Although RF ablation of atrial flutter is the most frequently performed ablation procedure, data on the incidence and significance of an AV block occurring during the procedure are scarce. Consecutive patients (n=845, 73.5% male) undergoing CTI ablation (913 procedures) between 1998 and 2010 were studied. Data on the occurrence of complete AV block (lasting≥3 s) during the procedure were prospectively collected. Sixteen (1.9%) patients experienced AV block, 12 during delivery of RF pulses (Group 1) and 4 (Group 2) during manipulation of catheters in the cardiac chambers. The AV block was short lived (<1 min), located in the AV node, and associated with septal isthmus RF lines in 11 Group 1 patients. It was long-lasting and led to pacemaker implantation in one Group 1 patient. Atrioventricular blocks had an infranodal location in four Group 2 patients, all of whom had a pre-existing complete left bundle branch block (LBBB). One Group 2 patient had an AV block during his two ablation procedures. Permanent pacemakers were implanted in five (0.6%) patients (one from Group 1 and four from Group 2). Atrioventricular blocks requiring pacemaker implantation following administration of RF pulses at the CTI are rare (0.12%). The occurrence rate of AV block related to the procedure and requiring pacemaker implantation is, however, not negligible (0.6%) and mostly affects patients with a pre-existing complete LBBB.
    Europace 03/2011; 13(7):1009-14. · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The utility of defibrillation threshold testing in patients undergoing implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation is controversial. Higher defibrillation thresholds have been noted in patients undergoing implantation of cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-D). Since the risks and potential benefits of testing may be higher in this population, we sought to assess the impact of defibrillation safety margin or vulnerability safety margin testing in CRT-D recipients. A total of 256 consecutive subjects who underwent CRT-D implantation between January 2003 and December 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were divided into two groups based on whether (n= 204) or not (n= 52) safety margin testing was performed. Patient characteristics, tachyarrhythmia therapies, procedural results, and clinical outcomes were recorded. Baseline characteristics, including heart failure (HF) severity, were comparable between the groups. Four cases of HF exacerbation (2%), including one leading to one death, were recorded in the tested group immediately post-implantation. No complications were observed in the untested group. After a mean follow-up of 32 ± 20 months, the proportion of appropriate shocks in the two groups was similar (31 vs. 25%, P = 0.49). There were three cases of failed appropriate shocks in the tested group, despite adequate safety margins at implantation, whereas no failed shocks were noted in the untested group. Survival was similar in the two groups. Defibrillation efficacy testing during implant of CRT-D was associated with increased morbidity and did not predict the success of future device therapy or improve survival during long-term follow-up.
    Europace 01/2011; 13(5):683-8. · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prior chest surgery limits the ability to obtain epicardial access in patients referred for catheter ablation of ventricular tachycardia (VT). The purpose of this study was to describe the utility of different surgical approaches to access the epicardium for VT ablation. Clinical data of 14 patients with drug-refractory VT who underwent hybrid surgical epicardial access for catheter mapping and ablation in the electrophysiology lab were reviewed. Baseline patient and procedural characteristics including access, exposure, mapping techniques, and ablation were analyzed. Of a total of 14 patients (age 63.2 ± 10.3 years), 11 had a subxiphoid window performed, and three patients underwent limited anterior thoracotomy to access the epicardium. The indication for surgical access was prior cardiac surgery (n = 12), previous failed epicardial access (n = 1), and ablation in close proximity to the coronary arteries and phrenic nerve (n = 1). Mapping in patients with subxiphoid surgical access was limited to the inferior and diaphragmatic surface of the heart extending posteriorly to the basal lateral wall. With limited anterior thoracotomy, access to the apex, anterior, and mid to apical anterolateral walls was obtained. In these regions, adhesions were more severe and repeat entry into the epicardial region at a different intercostal level was needed in two of three patients. Surgical access with subxiphoid window and limited anterior thoracotomy in the electrophysiology lab is feasible and safe. The surgical approach can be tailored to the region of interest in the ventricle to be mapped and ablated.
    Heart Rhythm 11/2010; 7(11):1635-43. · 5.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electrophysiological properties of the atrial endocardium compared to epicardium are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to compare the electrophysiological properties and vulnerability to arrhythmia induction from these regions. Transseptal endocardial and percutaneous epicardial mapping were performed in a porcine model (n = 7). Two opposing 4-mm electrophysiological catheters were positioned endocardially and epicardially. A circular mapping catheter (CMC) was positioned at the ostium of the common inferior pulmonary vein (CIPV) recording left atrial (LA)-PV potentials. Endocardial and epicardial effective refractory periods (ERPs) at two basic cycle lengths (CLs) of 600 and 400 ms were recorded from four anatomic locations (CIPV, LA appendage, right superior PV, and LA posterior wall). Atrial repetitive response (ARR) induction was also tested from endocardial and epicardial sites. Overall, 254 ERP measurements (mean 36.3 per animal) and 84 induction attempts (mean 12 per animal) were performed. The ERP was significantly shorter in the epicardium compared to the endocardium at basic CL of 400 ms (P = 0.006) but not at CL of 600 ms (P = 0.2). In addition, only the epicardium demonstrated ERP shortening when the CL of the basic drive was shortened (P = 0.03). ARR could be induced more often from the epicardium (P = 0.002) and fibrillatory activity with epicardial/endocardial dissociation was recorded (n = 3). Also, the earliest PV activation site on the CMC was noted to be different in 16.5% of cases during epicardial and endocardial pacing. The electrophysiological characteristics of the atrial epicardium are different from the endocardium with a shorter ERP and more frequent ARR induction by programed stimulation.
    Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 10/2010; 34(1):37-46. · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Management of ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is challenging. The purpose of this study is to assess the value of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) for the treatment of the VTs in the setting of HCM. Twenty-two patients (18 with ICD) with HCM and multiple episodes of VTs resistant to medical therapy underwent RFCA with an open irrigation catheter. Epicardial access was obtained if required. All patients were followed for at least 1 year after RFCA. Mean age was 50.4 +/- 15.3, and mean ejection fraction was 34.3% +/- 9.8%. RFCA was performed endocardially in all patients, while epicardial radiofrequency applications were needed in 13 patients. A previous endocardial ablation was unsuccessful in six patients. At 20 +/- 9 months of follow-up, elimination of VTs reached 73%. No major complication was observed during and after the procedures in all patients. Catheter ablation of VTs in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy refractory to medical therapy is safe, feasible, and successful in eliminating VT. Epicardial VT mapping and ablation should be considered as an important access option for the treatment of these patients to increase the success rate.
    Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 08/2010; 7(8):1036-42. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reducing sympathetic output to the heart from the neuraxis can protect against ventricular arrhythmias. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of thoracic epidural anesthesia (TEA) and left cardiac sympathetic denervation (LCSD) in the management of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with structural heart disease. Clinical data of 14 patients (25 to 75 years old, mean+/-SD of 54.2+/-16.6 years; 13 men) who underwent TEA, LCSD, or both to control ventricular tachycardia (VT) refractory to medical therapy and catheter ablation were reviewed. Twelve patients were in VT storm, and 2 experienced recurrent VT despite maximal medical therapy and catheter ablation procedures. The total number of therapies per patient before either procedure ranged from 5 to 202 (median of 24; 25th and 75th percentile, 5 and 56). Eight patients underwent TEA, and 9 underwent LCSD (3 patients had both procedures). No major procedural complications occurred. After initiation of TEA, 6 patients had a large (> or =80%) decrease in VT burden. After LCSD, 3 patients had no further VT, 2 had recurrent VT that either resolved within 24 hours or responded to catheter ablation, and 4 continued to have recurrent VT. Nine of 14 patients survived to hospital discharge (2 TEA alone, 3 TEA/LCSD combined, and 4 LCSD alone), 1 of the TEA alone patients underwent an urgent cardiac transplantation. Initiation of TEA and LCSD in patients with refractory VT was associated with a subsequent decrease in arrhythmia burden in 6 (75%) of 8 patients (68% confidence interval 51% to 91%) and 5 (56%) of 9 patients (68% confidence interval 34% to 75%), respectively. These data suggest that TEA and LCSD may be effective additions to the management of refractory ventricular arrhythmias in structural heart disease when other treatment modalities have failed or may serve as a bridge to more definitive therapy.
    Circulation 06/2010; 121(21):2255-62. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to compare the characteristics and prevalence of late potentials (LP) in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) and ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) etiologies and evaluate their value as targets for catheter ablation. LP are frequently found in post-myocardial infarction scars and are useful ablation targets. The relative prevalence and characteristics of LP in patients with NICM is not well understood. Thirty-three patients with structural heart disease (NICM, n = 16; ICM, n = 17) referred for catheter ablation of ventricular tachycardia were studied. Electroanatomic mapping was performed endocardially (n = 33) and epicardially (n = 19). The LP were defined as low voltage electrograms (<1.5 mV) with onset after the QRS interval. Very late potentials (vLP) were defined as electrograms with onset >100 ms after the QRS. We sampled an average of 564 +/- 449 points and 726 +/- 483 points in the left ventricle endocardium and epicardium, respectively. Mean total low voltage area in patients with ICM was 101 +/- 55 cm(2) and 56 +/- 33 cm(2), endocardial and epicardial, respectively, compared with NICM of 55 +/- 41 cm(2) and 53 +/- 28 cm(2), respectively. Within the total low voltage area, vLP were observed more frequently in ICM than in NICM in endocardium (4.1% vs. 1.3%; p = 0.0003) and epicardium (4.3% vs. 2.1%, p = 0.035). An LP-targeted ablation strategy was effective in ICM patients (82% nonrecurrence at 12 +/- 10 months of follow-up), whereas NICM patients had less favorable outcomes (50% at 15 +/- 13 months of follow-up). The contribution of scar to the electrophysiological abnormalities targeted for ablation of unstable ventricular tachycardia differs between ICM and NICM. An approach incorporating LP ablation and pace-mapping had limited success in patients with NICM compared with ICM, and alternative ablation strategies should be considered.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 05/2010; 55(21):2355-65. · 14.09 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

432 Citations
143.18 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2012
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Division of Cardiology
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • Tel Aviv University
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Tell Afif, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2005–2009
    • Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
      • Department of Cardiology
      Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel