PURPOSE: The frequent occurrence of ventricular tachycardia can create a serious problem in patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. We assessed the long-term efficacy of catheter-based substrate modification using the voltage mapping technique of infarct-related ventricular tachycardia and recurrent device therapy.
METHODS: The study population consisted of 27 consecutive patients (age 68 ± 8 years, 25 men, mean left ventricular ejection fraction 31 ± 9%) with an old myocardial infarction and multiple and/or hemodynamically not tolerated ventricular tachycardia necessitating repeated device therapy. A total of 31 substrate modification procedures were performed using the three-dimensional electroanatomical mapping system. Patients were followed up for a median of 23.5 (interquartile range 6.5-53.2) months before and 37.8 (interquartile range 11.7-71.8) months after ablation. Antiarrhythmic drugs were not changed after the procedure, and were stopped 6 to 9 months after the procedure in patients who did not show ventricular tachycardia recurrence.
RESULTS: Median ventricular tachycardias were 1.6 (interquartile range 0.7-6.7) per month before and 0.2 (interquartile range 0.00-1.3) per month after ablation (P = 0.006). Nine ventricular fibrillation episodes were registered in seven patients before and two after ablation (P = 0.025). Median antitachycardia pacing decreased from 1.6 (interquartile range 0.01-5.5) per month before to 0.18 (interquartile range 0.00-1.6) per month after ablation (P = 0.069). Median number of shocks decreased from 0.19 (interquartile range 0.04-0.81) per month before to 0.00 (interquartile range 0.00-0.09) per month after ablation (P = 0.001). One patient had a transient ischemic attack during the procedure, and another developed pericarditis. Nine patients died during follow-up, eight patients due to heart failure and one patient during valve surgery.
CONCLUSION: Catheter-based substrate modification using voltage mapping results in a long-lasting reduction of cardioverter defibrillator therapy in patients with multiple and/or hemodynamically not tolerated infarct-related ventricular tachyarrhythmia.
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