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Clinical Application of Electroanatomical Mapping in the Characterization of “Incisional” Atrial Tachycardias


Address for reprints: Josef Kautzner, M.D., Department of Cardiology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Vídeňská 1958/9, 140 21 Praha 4, Czech Republic. Fax: +(02) 4172 8225; e-mail:


PEICHL, P.,et al.:Clinical Application of Electroanatomical Mapping in the Characterization of “Incisional” Atrial Tachycardias.Scar tissue after surgical procedures for congenital heart disease may create a complex arrhythmogenic substrate and expose patients to the risk of “incisional” tachycardia. We report the usefulness of electroanatomical mapping in the characterization of reentrant circuits and identification of sites of successful radiofrequency (RF) ablation. Methods: Electroanatomical mapping was used to draw activation maps of the right atrium in 6 men and 4 women (mean age45 ± 13.7  years) with 21 atrial tachycardias after corrections of atrial septal defects (n = 6) or tetralogy of Fallot (n = 4). The critical isthmus of reentrant circuits was ablated by RF energy. Results: Macroreentrant circuits were localized on the posterolateral wall of the right atrium in all cases. Scar tissue in that region often contained several pathways that allowed induction of different tachycardias. Interruption of all slow conducting pathways successfully abolished all inducible tachycardias. The cavotricuspid isthmus participated in a figure-of-eight reentrant circuit or in a typical flutter circuit in 6 patients. RF ablation was successful in all but one patient, without significant complications. Conclusion: Electroanatomical mapping allows the precise description of macroreentrant circuits and the identification of all slow conducting pathways. It is a powerful tool for the planning of ablation lines, navigation of ablation catheter, and verification of conduction block. (PACE 2003; 26[Pt. II]:420–425)