Electrophysiology of "incisional" reentrant atrial tachycardia complicating surgery for congenital heart disease

M. D. Lesh, J. M. Kalman, L. A. Saxon, P. C. Dorosatkar

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50 Scopus citations


Intraatrial reentrant tachycardia, which occurs frequently in patients who have undergone corrective surgery for congenital heart disease, presents a challenge to successful management. Because the surgical repair sites are invariably critical to the development and maintenance of reentrant atrial tachycardia, we use the term "incisional reentry" to describe these arrhythmias. An understanding of the electrophysiology of such "incisional reentry," and techniques to identify a critical isthmus, are essential for successful ablation of these circuits. A critical isthmus may be identified by the presence of entrainment with concealed fusion. Confirmation that the site is critical to the tachycardia circuit is obtained by an analysis of the relationship between the postpacing interval and the tachycardia cycle length. Advances in mapping from multiple simultaneous sites, along with the ability to create larger, deeper lesions will be needed in order to cure a larger number of these patients. Ultimately, in some cases one must consider each procedure palliative rather than curative, as the disease progresses and substrate evolves and more tachycardia circuits become active.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2107-2111
Number of pages5
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number8 II
StatePublished - Aug 1997


  • Catheter ablation
  • Entrainment
  • Intraatrial reentry


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