OBJECTIVES: This study sought to summarize the procedural characteristics and outcomes of patients with structural heart disease (SHD) who have focal ventricular tachycardia (VT).
BACKGROUND: Scar-mediated re-entry is the predominant mechanism of VT in SHD. Some SHD patients may have a focal VT mechanism that remains poorly described.
METHODS: An extended induction protocol incorporating programmed electrical stimulation, right ventricular burst pacing and isoprenaline was used to elucidate both re-entrant and focal VT mechanisms.
RESULTS: Eighteen of 112 patients (16%) with SHD undergoing VT ablation over 2 years had a focal VT mechanism elucidated (mean age 66±13 years; ejection fraction 46±14%; nonischemic cardiomyopathy 10). Repetitive failure of termination with antitachycardia pacing (ATP) (69% of patients) or defibrillator shocks (56%) was a common feature of focal VTs. A median of 3 VTs per patient were inducible (28 focal VTs, 34 re-entrant VTs; 53% of patients had both focal and re-entrant VT mechanism). Focal VTs more commonly originated from the right ventricle (RV) than the left ventricle (LV) (67% vs. 33%, respectively). In the RV, the RV outflow tract was the most common site (33% of all focal VTs), followed by the RV moderator band (22%), apical septal RV (6%), and lateral tricuspid annulus (6%). The lateral LV (non-Purkinje) was the most common LV focal VT site (16%), followed by the papillary muscles (17%). After median follow-up of 289 days, 78% of patients remained arrhythmia-free; no patients had recurrence of focal VT at repeat procedure. In patients with recurrence, defibrillator therapies were significantly reduced from a median of 53 ATP episodes pre-ablation to 10 ATP episodes post-ablation. During follow-up, 2 patients (11%) underwent repeat VT ablation; none had recurrence of focal VT.
CONCLUSIONS: Focal VTs are common in patients with SHD and often coexist with re-entrant forms of VT. High failure rate of defibrillator therapies was a common feature of focal VT mechanisms. Uncovering and abolishing focal VT may further improve outcomes of catheter ablation in SHD.
- catheter ablation
- focal ventricular tachycardia
- scar-mediated re-entry
- ventricular tachycardia