Catheter Ablation of Accessory Pathways: Technique and Results in 248 Patients


2 Hopital Saint-André, 33075 Bordeaux, France


WARIN, J.-F., ET AL.: Catheter Ablation of Accessory Pathways: Technique and Results in 248 Patients. Two hundred and forty-eight patients with refractory arrhythmias related to an accessory pathway underwent catheter ablation. Cathodal shocks (I60 to 240 joules) were delivered through the distal electrode of a standard catheter (usually a quadripolar electrode catheter with 5-mm interelectrode distances). A paddle electrode positioned opposite to the catheter served as the anode. Ablation of 24 right anteroseptal, 16 right parietal, 86 posteroseptal, 120 left parietal and four Mahaim pathways was clinically successful in eliminating symptomatic tachycardia in 236 patients (>96%) over a follow-up of 3 to 64 months. There was no procedure-related death but two patients developed a ventricular fibrillation at the fifth and seventh day, respectively. The latter led to a sudden death since this side effect occurred after discharge. There were no instances of systemic embolus but one pericardial effusion required subxiphoid needle drainage 6 weeks after the procedure. Other complications included: AV block in four patients with posteroseptal and in one with a right anterior septal pathway. In conclusion, a successful clinical outcome may be achieved in most patients. Catheter ablation is an important alternative to cardiac surgery and in our opinion represents first-line treatment when therapy is required.