Objectives: The aim of the study was to define the epicardial substrate and ablation outcome in patients with left ventricular nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) and suspected epicardial ventricular tachycardia (VT). Background: Ventricular tachycardia in NICM often originates from the epicardium. Methods: Twenty-two patients with NICM underwent detailed endocardial and epicardial bipolar voltage maps and VT ablation for suspected epicardial VT. Eight patients with normal hearts and idiopathic VT served to define normal epicardial electrograms. Low-voltage regions were also assessed for wide (>80 ms), split, or late electrograms. Results: Normal epicardial bipolar voltage was identified as >1.0 mV on the basis of the reference population. Confluent low-voltage areas were present in 18 epicardial (82%) and 12 endocardial (54%) maps and were typically over basal lateral LV. In the 18 patients with epicardial VT on the basis of activation/pacemapping, the mean epicardial area was greater than the endocardial low-voltage area (55.3 ± 33.5 cm2 vs. 22.9 ± 32.4 cm2, p < 0.01). Epicardial low-voltage areas showed 49.7% wide (>80 ms), split, and/or late electrograms rarely seen in the reference patients (2.3%). During follow-up of 18 ± 7 months, ablation resulted in VT elimination in 15 of 21 patients (71%) including 14 of 18 patients (78%) with epicardial VT. Conclusions: In patients with NICM and VT of epicardial origin, the substrate is characterized by areas of basal LV epicardial > endocardial bipolar low voltage. The electrograms in these areas are not only small (80 ms), split, and/or late, and help identify the substrate targeted for successful ablation. © 2009 American College of Cardiology Foundation.
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