Contact Force Monitoring for Cardiac Mapping in Patients with Ventricular Tachycardia


  • Dr. Della Bella is consultant for St. Jude Medical and has received honoraria for lectures form Biosense Webster, St. Jude Medical, and Biotronik. Dr. Mizuno reports participation on a research grant supported by Biosense Webster. Other authors: No disclosures.

Address for correspondence: Paolo Della Bella M.D., F.E.S.C., Head of Arrhythmia Unit and Electrophysiology Laboratories, Department of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Ospedale S. Raffaele, via Olgettina 60, Milano, Italy. Fax: +39-02 26437326; E-mail:

Contact Force for Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation


Although the importance of contact force monitoring during mapping and ablation procedures is widely recognized, only indirect measurements have been validated.


Real-time force values were measured using the force-sensing catheter and electroanatomical mapping system from 27 chambers (13 LVs, 6 RVs, and 8 epicardial space) in 17 patients affected by ventricular tachycardia. Left ventricular mapping was performed by the transaortic approach in all patients and in 5 patients also by a transseptal approach with the aid of a deflectable sheath. All points were divided into 2 groups according to the presence of positive contact force during diastole: good and poor contact. The frequency of good contact and its impact on electrophysiological parameters such as signal amplitude, local impedance, and frequency of late potentials was evaluated. The best cut-off value to discriminate the 2 groups was calculated by a generalized linear mixed-effects model.


Among all 5,926 points, 1,566 (26%) points were taken with poor contact. In healthy tissue, categorical increase of contact force caused the increase of unipolar and bipolar signal potential amplitude followed by plateau. The frequency of late potentials in the poor contact group was significantly lower when compared to the good contact group (11.9 vs 23.2%; P < 0.0001). The best cut-off force value to predict good contact during left ventricular endocardial and epicardial mappings was 9 g.


A combined transaortic and transseptal approach allows better endocardial contact during left ventricular mapping. Ventricular mapping with sufficient contact force produces better substrate characterization within pathological areas.