Epicardial Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation

  • Hsia H
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Objectives: The aim of this study was to perform a systematic evaluation of safety and midterm complications after epicardial ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation. Background: Epicardial VT ablation is increasingly performed, but there is limited information about its safety and midterm complications. Methods: All patients undergoing VT ablation at 3 tertiary care centers between 2001 and 2007 were included in this study. Of 913 VT ablations, 156 procedures (17%) involved epicardial mapping and/or ablation. These were performed in 134 patients (109 men; mean age 56 ± 15 years) after a previous VT ablation in 115 (86%). The underlying substrates were ischemic cardiomyopathy in 51 patients, nonischemic cardiomyopathy in 39 patients, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy in 14 patients, and other types of cardiomyopathy in 30 patients. Results: Epicardial access was obtained via percutaneous subxiphoid puncture in 136 procedures, by a surgical subxiphoid approach in 14, and during open-heart surgery in 6. Epicardial ablation (mean radiofrequency duration: 13 ± 12 min; median: 10 min) was performed in 121 of 156 procedures (78%). Twenty patients subsequently required repeat procedures, and the epicardium could be reaccessed in all but 1 patient. A total of 8 (5%) major complications related to pericardial access were observed acutely: 7 epicardial bleeding (>80 cm3) and 1 coronary stenosis. After a mean follow-up period of 23 ± 21 months, 3 delayed complications related to pericardial access were noted: 1 major pericardial inflammatory reaction, 1 delayed tamponade, and 1 coronary occlusion 2 weeks after the procedure. Conclusions: VT ablation required epicardial ablation in 121 of 913 procedures (13%), with a risk of 5% and 2% of acute and delayed major complications related to epicardial access. © 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation.




Hsia, H. H. (2010). Epicardial Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 55(21), 2373–2375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2010.01.042

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