Radiofrequency catheter ablation for treatment of bundle branch reentrant ventricular tachycardia: Results and long-term follow-up

Todd J. Cohen, Walter W. Chien, Keith G. Lurie, Charlie Young, Harold R. Goldberg, Yin Shi Wang, Jonathan J. Langberg, Michael D. Lesh, Michael A. Lee, Jerry C. Griffin, Melvin M. Scheinman

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180 Scopus citations


Seven of 120 consecutive patients with inducible sustained ventricular tachycardia (from September 1, 1988 to January 1, 1991) had bundle branch reentrant tachycardia and underwent percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of the right bundle branch. The seven patients had been unsuccessfully treated with a mean of 3 ± 1 drugs. Four patients presented with syncope and three with aborted sudden death. The baseline electrocardiogram revealed a left bundle branch block pattern in three patients and an intraventricular conduction defect in four. The baseline HV interval was prolonged in each case (79 ± 2 ms). With use of programmed ventricular extrastimuli, sustained bundle branch reentrant tachycardia was inducible in all patients at a mean cycle length of 283 ± 17 ms (range 230 to 350). Bundle branch reentrant tachycardia characteristics included atrioventricular dissociation, a His deflection that preceded each QRS complex and spontaneous His to His variation that preceded changes in ventricular tachycardia cycle length. A quadripolar catheter was positioned across the tricuspid valve with the distal electrode tip of the catheter near the right bundle branch. One to three applications of continuous unmodulated radiofrequency current at 300 kHz between the distal electrode and a large posterior skin patch resulted in complete right bundle branch block in all patients, after which none had inducible bundle branch reentrant tachycardia on restudy. On restudy, three of the seven patients had ventricular tachycardia of myocardial origin (not bundle branch reentry). One patient required no therapy; drug or defibrillator therapy was used in the others. After a mean follow-up interval of 12 ± 3 months (range 6 to 29) complete right bundle branch block persisted, there were no spontaneous episodes of ventricular tachycardia and no patient required a permanent pacemaker. Radiofrequency catheter ablation of the right bundle branch is easily performed and is a safe and effective treatment for bundle branch reentrant tachycardia. It is probably the procedure of choice for these highly symptomatic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1767-1773
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes


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