Electrophysiological Characteristics of Localized Reentrant Atrial Tachycardia Occurring After Catheter Ablation of Long-Lasting Persistent Atrial Fibrillation

Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.96). 06/2009; 20(6):623-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2008.01410.x
Source: PubMed


Mapping of recurrent atrial tachycardia (AT) after extensive ablation for long-lasting persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) is complex. We sought to describe the electrophysiological characteristics of localized reentry occurring after ablation of long-lasting persistent AF.
Out of 70 patients undergoing catheter ablation of long-lasting persistent AF, 9 patients (13%, 55 +/- 8 years, 8 males) in whom localized reentry was demonstrated in a repeat ablation were studied. Localized reentry was defined as reentry in which the circuit was localized to a small area and did not have a central obstacle. The mechanism of AT was determined by electroanatomical and entrainment mapping.
Nine localized reentries with cycle length of 243 +/- 41 ms were mapped in 9 patients. The location of AT was the left atrial appendage in 4 patients, anterior left atrium in 2, left septum in 2, and mitral isthmus in 1. In all ATs, a critical isthmus of <10 mm in width was identified in the vicinity of the prior linear lesions or ostia of isolated pulmonary veins. Ablation of the critical isthmus, which was characterized by continuous low-voltage activity (median voltage: 0.15 mV, mean duration: 117 +/- 31 ms), terminated AT and rendered it noninducible. Additionally, ablation was performed for all of inducible ATs. At 11 +/- 7 months after the procedure, 8 of 9 patients (89%) were free from any arrhythmias.
After ablation of long-lasting persistent AF, localized reentry may arise from a site in the vicinity of the prior ablation lesions. Ablation of the critical isthmus eliminates the arrhythmia.

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    • "Most of the patients included in these series suffered persistent, permanent, or chronic AF (33%–100%). On the other hand, a number of papers have reported the incidence of AT after stepwise AF ablation or addressed specifically AT appearing after these approaches [46, 53–59]; the incidence of PAFAT in this context oscillates between 23%–44%. Stepwise techniques are resorted to for long-lasting persistent forms of AF almost exclusively (23%–100% of patients in these series). "
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    ABSTRACT: Intra-isthmus reentry (IIR) is a circuit within the cavotricuspid isthmus (CTI). The purpose of this study is to prospectively define the electrogram and surface ECG characteristics of IIR, and its clinical implications. Fourteen patients underwent electrophysiological studies and were found to have IIR. Detailed electrogram mapping of the CTI was available in all, electroanatomic mapping (EAM) in 8 of 14 (57%) patients. In all, entrainment mapping during tachycardia proved reentry, and showed that the anteroinferior CTI was out of the circuit and the septal CTI was in the circuit in 12 of 14 patients, whereas in 2, the circuit was confined within the mid and/or anteroinferior CTI. Fractionated potentials (FPs) spanning 34-71% of the tachycardia cycle length were recorded within the CTI in all, and double potentials were inscribed in 10 of 14 (71%). Analysis of the tricuspid annulus electrograms showed spontaneous shifts from a counterclockwise (CCW) to clockwise or fusion patterns. Surface ECGs showed either typical CCW pattern (12 patients) or atypical patterns (3 patients). The EAMs showed a focal pattern in 3, a CCW pattern in 5. The successful ablation site always occurred at the area with maximal FP duration. Over the same period, 33 of 384 (9%) patients who underwent ablation for CTI-dependent flutter had prior successful CTI ablation, 7 of 33 (21%) were found to have IIR during the redo procedure. (1) Electrogram and ECG patterns of IIR frequently show atypical flutter. (2) IIR was successfully ablated in an area of the CTI associated with maximal duration of FPs. (3) IIR is a significant cause of "recurrent flutter" in patients with prior CTI ablation.
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    ABSTRACT: Atrial tachycardias (AT) often occur after ablation of long-lasting persistent AF (CAF) and are difficult to treat conservatively. This study evaluated mechanisms and success rates of conventional mapping and catheter ablation of recurrent ATs occurring late after stepwise ablation of CAF. A total of 320 patients underwent de novo ablation of CAF using a stepwise ablation approach in 2006 to 2007 at our institution. This study comprised patients who presented with recurrent ATs at their first redo procedure after initial de novo CAF ablation. All procedures were guided by conventional mapping techniques exclusively. Sixty-one patients (63+/-10 years, 14 women) presented with their clinical AT at their redo procedure 7.7+/-4.4 months after initial de novo CAF ablation. A total of 133 ATs (2.2+/-0.9 per patient) were mapped. Forty-four (72%) were due to reentry; 17 (28%) were focal ATs. Reentry ATs were mainly characterized as roof and perimitral flutter (43% and 34%, respectively). Focal ATs mainly originated from the great thoracic veins (pulmonary veins: 41%, coronary sinus: 23%). Forty-five (74%) patients had conduction recovery of at least 1 pulmonary vein (mean, 1.2+/-0.8). Overall, 124 (93%) ATs could be ablated successfully. The mean procedure duration was 181+/-59 minutes, with a mean fluoroscopy time of 45+/-21 minutes. After a mean follow-up of 21+/-4 months, 50 (82%) patients were free of any arrhythmia recurrences after a single redo procedure. Although late recurrent ATs may have complex mechanisms, catheter ablation guided exclusively by conventional techniques is highly effective with excellent acute and long-term success rates.
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