Publications by authors named "Andres Enriquez"

102 Publications

Intracardiac Echocardiography to Guide Catheter Ablation of Idiopathic Ventricular Arrythmias.

Card Electrophysiol Clin 2021 06 24;13(2):325-335. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

Division of Cardiology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Catheter ablation is the most effective treatment option for idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias. Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) has been increasingly used during ablation procedures, allowing real-time visualization of cardiac anatomy, and improving our understanding of the relationships between different cardiac structures. In this article we review the adjuvant role of ICE to guide mapping and ablation of ventricular arrhythmias in the structurally normal heart.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccep.2021.03.010DOI Listing
June 2021

Myocardial Substrate Characterization by CMR T Mapping in Patients With NICM and No LGE Undergoing Catheter Ablation of VT.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 Jul 27;7(7):831-840. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives: The goal of this study was to characterize the relationship between DF, the electroanatomic mapping (EAM) substrate, and outcomes of catheter ablation of VT in NICM.

Background: A substantial proportion of patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NICM) and ventricular tachycardia (VT) do not have scar detectable by cardiac magnetic resonance late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging. In these patients, the significance of diffuse fibrosis (DF) detected with T mapping has not been previously investigated.

Methods: This study included 51 patients with NICM and VT undergoing catheter ablation (median age 55 years; 77% male subjects) who had no evidence of LGE on pre-procedural cardiac magnetic resonance. Post-contrast T relaxation time determined on the septum was assessed as a surrogate of DF burden. The extent of endocardial low-voltage areas (LVAs) at EAM was correlated with T mapping data.

Results: Bipolar LVAs were present in 22 (43%) patients (median extent 15 cm [8 to 29 cm]) and unipolar LVA in all patients (median extent 48 cm [26 to 120 cm]). A significant inverse correlation was found between T values and both unipolar-LVA (R = 0.64; β = -0.85; p < 0.01) and bipolar-LVA (R = 0.16; β = -1.63; p < 0.01). After a median follow-up of 45 months (22 to 57 months), 2 (4%) patients died, 3 (6%) underwent heart transplantation, and 8 (16%) experienced VT recurrence. Shorter post-contrast T time was associated with an increased risk of VT recurrence (hazard ratio: 1.16; 95% confidence interval: 1.03 to 1.33 per 10 ms decrease; p = 0.02).

Conclusions: In patients with NICM and no evidence of LGE undergoing catheter ablation of VT, DF estimated by using post-contrast T mapping correlates with the voltage abnormality at EAM and seems to affect post-ablation outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.10.002DOI Listing
July 2021

Prognostic Value of Nonischemic Ringlike Left Ventricular Scar in Patients With Apparently Idiopathic Nonsustained Ventricular Arrhythmias.

Circulation 2021 Apr 6;143(14):1359-1373. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Division (D.M., S.A.C., I.L., A.E., J.J.L., S.D., R.D., F.C.G., D.J.C., D.S.F., F.E.M., P.S.), Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Background: Left ventricular (LV) scar on late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) cardiac magnetic resonance has been correlated with life-threatening arrhythmic events in patients with apparently idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias (VAs). We investigated the prognostic significance of a specific LV-LGE phenotype characterized by a ringlike pattern of fibrosis.

Methods: A total of 686 patients with apparently idiopathic nonsustained VA underwent contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance. A ringlike pattern of LV scar was defined as LV subepicardial/midmyocardial LGE involving at least 3 contiguous segments in the same short-axis slice. The end point of the study was time to the composite outcome of all-cause death, resuscitated cardiac arrest because of ventricular fibrillation or hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia and appropriate implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy.

Results: A total of 28 patients (4%) had a ringlike pattern of scar (group A), 78 (11%) had a non-ringlike pattern (group B), and 580 (85%) had normal cardiac magnetic resonance with no LGE (group C). Group A patients were younger compared with groups B and C (median age, 40 vs 52 vs 45 years; <0.01), more frequently men (96% vs 82% vs 55%; <0.01), with a higher prevalence of family history of sudden cardiac death or cardiomyopathy (39% vs 14% vs 6%; <0.01) and more frequent history of unexplained syncope (18% vs 9% vs 3%; <0.01). All patients in group A showed VA with a right bundle-branch block morphology versus 69% in group B and 21% in group C (<0.01). Multifocal VAs were observed in 46% of group A patients compared with 26% of group B and 4% of group C (<0.01). After a median follow-up of 61 months (range, 34-84 months), the composite outcome occurred in 14 patients (50.0%) in group A versus 15 (19.0%) in group B and 2 (0.3%) in group C (<0.01). After multivariable adjustment, the presence of LGE with ringlike pattern remained independently associated with increased risk of the composite end point (hazard ratio, 68.98 [95% CI, 14.67-324.39], <0.01).

Conclusions: In patients with apparently idiopathic nonsustained VA, nonischemic LV scar with a ringlike pattern is associated with malignant arrhythmic events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.047640DOI Listing
April 2021

Close-coupled pacing to identify the "functional" substrate of ventricular tachycardia: Long-term outcomes of the paced electrogram feature analysis technique.

Heart Rhythm 2021 May 27;18(5):723-731. Epub 2020 Dec 27.

Heart Rhythm Service, Queen's University, Kingston Health Sciences, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: The conduction delay and block that compose the critical isthmus of macroreentrant ventricular tachycardia (VT) is partly "functional" in that they only occur at faster cycle lengths. Close-coupled pacing stresses the myocardium's conduction capacity and may reveal late potentials (LPs) and fractionation. Interest has emerged in targeting this functional substrate.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and efficacy of a functional substrate VT ablation strategy.

Methods: Patients with scar-related VT undergoing their first ablation were recruited. A closely coupled extrastimulus (ventricular effective refractory period + 30 ms) was delivered at the right ventricular apex while mapping with a high-density catheter. Sites of functional impaired conduction exhibited increased electrogram duration due to LPs/fractionation. The time to last deflection was annotated on an electroanatomic map, readily identifying ablation targets.

Results: A total of 40 patients were recruited (34 [85%] ischemic). Median procedure duration was 330 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] 300-369), and ablation time was 49.4 minutes (IQR 33.8-48.3). Median functional substrate area was 41.9 cm (IQR 22.1-73.9). It was similarly distributed across bipolar voltage zones. Noninducibility was achieved in 34 of 40 patients (85%). Median follow-up was 711 days (IQR 255.5-972.8), during which 35 of 39 patients (89.7%) did not have VT recurrence, and 3 of 39 (7.5%) died. Antiarrhythmic drugs were continued in 53.8% (21/39).

Conclusion: Functional substrate ablation resulted in high rates of noninducibility and freedom from VT. Mapping times were increased considerably. Our findings add to the encouraging trend reported by related techniques. Randomized multicenter trials are warranted to assess this next phase of VT ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.12.022DOI Listing
May 2021

aVL/aVR discordance: Value for localization of ventricular arrhythmias.

J Electrocardiol 2020 May - Jun;60:A1-A2. Epub 2020 May 15.

Electrophysiology Section, Cardiovascular Division, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2020.05.007DOI Listing
November 2020

QRS morphology in lead V for the rapid localization of idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias originating from the left ventricular papillary muscles: A novel electrocardiographic criterion.

Heart Rhythm 2020 10 23;17(10):1711-1718. Epub 2020 May 23.

Electrophysiology Section, Division of Cardiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Background: Twelve-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) criteria have been developed to identify idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) from the left ventricular (LV) papillary muscles (PAPs), but accurate localization remains a challenge.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop ECG criteria for accurate localization of LV PAP VAs using lead V exclusively.

Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing mapping and ablation of VAs from the LV PAPs guided by intracardiac echocardiography from 2007 to 2018 were reviewed (study group). The QRS morphology in lead V was compared to patients with VAs with a "right bundle branch block" morphology from other LV locations (reference group). Patients with structural heart disease were excluded.

Results: One hundred eleven patients with LV PAP VAs (mean age 54 ± 16 years; 65% men) were identified, including 64 (55%) from the posteromedial PAP and 47 (42%) from the anterolateral PAP. The reference group included patients with VAs from the following LV locations: fascicles (n = 21), outflow tract (n = 36), ostium (n = 37), inferobasal segment (n = 12), and apex (5). PAP VAs showed 3 distinct QRS morphologies in lead V 93% of the time: Rr (53%), R with a slurred downslope (29%), and RR (11%). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for the 3 morphologies combined are 93%, 98%, 98%, and 93%, respectively. The intrinsicoid deflection of PAP VAs in lead V was shorter than that of the reference group (63 ± 13 ms vs 79 ± 24 ms; P < .001). An intrinsicoid deflection time of <74 ms best differentiated the 2 groups (sensitivity 79%; specificity 87%).

Conclusion: VAs originating from the LV PAPs manifest unique QRS morphologies in lead V, which can aid in rapid and accurate localization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.05.021DOI Listing
October 2020

Three-Dimensional Imaging Improves Accuracy in Clip Sizing During Thoracoscopic Left Atrial Appendage Exclusion.

Innovations (Phila) 2020 Mar/Apr;15(2):166-168

4257 Division of Cardiac Surgery, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.

The AtriClip is an epicardially applied occlusion device for the left atrial appendage. Accurate sizing and placement of the device is essential to its success. We describe the use of 3-dimensional computed tomography imaging to aid in accurate sizing of the AtriClip device during thoracoscopic surgical ablation. This technique reduces the risk of improper sizing of the device and thus mitigates the risk of malpositioning and potential damage or compression to surrounding structures such as the circumflex coronary artery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1556984520908498DOI Listing
January 2021

Recommendations for the organization of electrophysiology and cardiac pacing services during the COVID-19 pandemic : Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS) in collaboration with: Colombian College Of Electrophysiology, Argentinian Society of Cardiac Electrophysiology (SADEC), Brazilian Society Of Cardiac Arrhythmias (SOBRAC), Mexican Society Of Cardiac Electrophysiology (SOMEEC).

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2020 Nov 29;59(2):307-313. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Universidad de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving public health emergency that has largely impacted the provision of healthcare services around the world. The challenge for electrophysiology teams is double; on one side preventing disease spread by limiting all nonessential face-to-face interactions, but at the same time ensuring continued care for patients who need it. These guidelines contain recommendations regarding triaging in order to define what procedures, device checks and clinic visits can be postponed during the pandemic. We also discuss best practices to protect patients and healthcare workers and provide guidance for the management of COVID-19 patients with arrhythmic conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-020-00747-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189002PMC
November 2020

Collateral injury of the conduction system during catheter ablation of septal substrate in nonischemic cardiomyopathy.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 07 5;31(7):1726-1739. Epub 2020 May 5.

Department of Medicine, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Introduction: In patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) little is known about the clinical impact of catheter ablation (CA) of septal ventricular tachycardia (VT) resulting in the collateral injury of the conduction system (CICS).

Methods And Results: Ninety-five consecutive patients with NICM underwent CA of septal VT. Outcomes in patients with no baseline conduction abnormalities who developed CICS (group 1, n = 28 [29%]) were compared to patients with no CICS (group 2, n = 17 [18%]) and to patients with preexisting conduction abnormalities or biventricular pacing (group 3, n = 50 [53%]). Group-1 patients were younger, had a higher left ventricular ejection fraction and a lower prevalence of New York Heart Association III/IV class compared to group 3 while no significant differences were observed with group 2. After a median follow-up of 15 months, VT recurred in 14% of patients in group 1, 12% in group 2 (P = .94) and 32% in group 3 (P = .08) while death/transplant occurred in 14% of patients in group 1, 18% in group 2 (P = .69) and 28% in group 3 (P = .15). A worsening of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (median LVEF variation, -5%) was observed in group 1 compared to group 2 (median LVEF variation, 0%; P < .01) but not group-3 patients (median LVEF variation, -4%; P = .08) with a consequent higher need for new biventricular pacing in group 1 (43%) compared to group 2 (12%; P = .03) and group 3 (16%; P < .01).

Conclusions: In patients with NICM and septal substrate, sparing the abnormal substrate harboring the conduction system provides acceptable VT control while preventing a worsening of the systolic function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14498DOI Listing
July 2020

Ablation strategies for intramural ventricular arrhythmias.

Heart Rhythm 2020 07 20;17(7):1176-1184. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Division of Cardiology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Intramural origin of ventricular arrhythmias is one of the reasons for failure of catheter ablation, especially in nonischemic substrates. Conventional unipolar ablation has limited efficacy for the creation of deep transmural lesions in the ventricular myocardium, and alternative ablation strategies have been developed to overcome this problem. These novel approaches include simultaneous unipolar ablation, bipolar ablation, use of low-ionic irrigant solution, needle ablation, and ethanol ablation. This review provides an overview of each one of these techniques, including their main advantages and limitations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.02.010DOI Listing
July 2020

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator-Cybersecurity.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2020 03 11;13(3):e008261. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Division of Cardiology, Queen's University, Kingston (B.A., V.N., D.C., C.S., A.E., S.C., H.A., D.R.), Toronto, ON, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.119.008261DOI Listing
March 2020

Premature ventricular complexes: diagnostic and therapeutic considerations in clinical practice : A state-of-the-art review by the American College of Cardiology Electrophysiology Council.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2020 Jan 11;57(1):5-26. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute & Research Foundation, Overland Park, KS, 66221, USA.

Premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) are common arrhythmias in the clinical setting. PVCs in the structurally normal heart are usually benign, but in the presence of structural heart disease (SHD), they may indicate increased risk of sudden death. High PVC burden may induce cardiomyopathy and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction or worsen underlying cardiomyopathy. Sometimes PVCs may be a marker of underlying pathophysiologic process such as myocarditis. Identification of PVC burden is important, since cardiomyopathy and LV dysfunction can reverse after catheter ablation or pharmacological suppression. This state-of-the-art review discusses pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, how to differentiate benign and malignant PVCs, PVCs in the structurally normal heart, underlying SHD, diagnostic procedures (physical examination, electrocardiogram, ambulatory monitoring, exercise testing, echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, coronary angiography, electrophysiology study), and treatment (lifestyle modification, electrolyte imbalance, medical, and catheter ablation).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-019-00655-3DOI Listing
January 2020

Safe Delivery of Endoscopic Brachytherapy in a Patient with a Dual Chamber Pacemaker.

J Atr Fibrillation 2019 Jun 30;12(1):2137. Epub 2019 Jun 30.

Division of Cardiology, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

In patients with advanced esophageal cancer, management of dysphagia is a challenge with significant implications on patient quality of life. Brachytherapy has been shown to be an effective and safe treatment option for symptoms related to dysphagia. The effect of endoscopic brachytherapy on patients with a cardiac implantable electronic device has not previously been described in literature. We present an 89-year-old female with a dual chamber permanent pacemaker who elected to undergo palliative brachytherapy delivered via endoscopy for treatment of dysphagia secondary to locally advanced esophageal adenocarcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4022/jafib.2137DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6811333PMC
June 2019

Update on long QT syndrome.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 12 14;30(12):3068-3078. Epub 2019 Oct 14.

Division of Cardiology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an inherited disorder characterized by a prolonged QT interval in the 12-lead electrocardiogram and increased risk of malignant arrhythmias in patients with a structurally normal heart. Since its first description in the 1950s, advances in molecular genetics have greatly improved our understanding of the cause and mechanisms of this disease. Sixteen genes linked to LQTS have been described and genetic testing had become an integral part of the diagnosis and risk stratification. This article provides an updated review of the genetic basis, diagnosis, and clinical management of LQTS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14227DOI Listing
December 2019

Facilitated Coupling of Magnetic Introducers During Thoracoscopic Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation.

Innovations (Phila) 2019 Oct 19;14(5):480-482. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.

A 51-year-old man with long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation underwent a hybrid ablation procedure with right thoracoscopic epicardial ablation. Fluoroscopy was utilized in a novel way to visualize the magnetic tip catheters of the linear ablation surgical device and allow easier coupling of the tips, making this procedure more efficient and reducing the risk of improper positioning of the ablation device.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1556984519870490DOI Listing
October 2019

Deactivation of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator in Patients With Terminal Diagnoses.

Am J Cardiol 2019 10 15;124(7):1064-1068. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Department of Medicine, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) prevent sudden cardiac death. However, in patients with terminal illnesses, these devices may disrupt the dying process. This study was undertaken to review our current strategies surrounding device deactivation. A retrospective chart review was performed at Kingston Health Sciences Centre of patients with an ICD who died from 2015 to 2018. Data collected included patient demographics, clinical details surrounding device implantation, patient co-morbidities leading to deactivation, time to deactivation, physical place of deactivation, and device programming information. Ethics approval was obtained from the Queen's University Health Sciences Research Ethics Board. A total of 49 patients were included for analysis. Mean age at the time of death was 77.5 years (range: 57 to 94 years) and 12.2% (6/49) were women. The indications for ICD implantation were primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in 69.4% (34/49) and secondary prevention in 30.6% (15/49). Deactivation as part of end-of-life care was performed in 32.7% of patients (16/49). Deactivations occurred in clinic in 6.1% (3/49) of patients, on hospital inpatient wards in 12.2% (6/49) of patients, and in critical care settings in 14.2% (7/49) of patients. The remaining 67.3% (33/49) of patients died with fully functioning devices in place. The most prevalent terminal diagnoses were metastatic cancer (22.4%) and end-stage congestive heart failure (20.4%). On average, patients had their devices deactivated 13 months (range: 0 to 62 months) after their terminal diagnosis was established. Once a patient was documented as Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), deactivation was discussed and carried out within a mean time of 38 days (range: 0 to 400 days). Seven patients had their device active for more than 1 month after being documented as DNR. Ten patients (20.4%) received ICD shocks after their terminal diagnosis, 9 received shocks in the month before death, and 2 received shocks after formal DNR orders were in place. Approximately one-third of patients with ICDs received deactivation of their cardioversion/defibrillation therapies as part of their end-of-life care plan. A relatively high proportion of patients (20%) received an ICD shock in the last month of life. In conclusion, addressing device programming needs, including deactivation of cardioversion/defibrillation therapies, should be considered in the context of a patient's goals of care in every patient with an ICD who has a co-existing life-limiting diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.07.007DOI Listing
October 2019

Electrocardiographic and Electrophysiologic Characteristics of Idiopathic Ventricular Arrhythmias Originating From the Basal Inferoseptal Left Ventricle.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2019 07 8;5(7):833-842. Epub 2019 May 8.

Division of Cardiology, Electrophysiology Section, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study sought to characterize ventricular arrhythmia (VA) ablated from the basal inferoseptal left ventricular endocardium (BIS-LVe) and identify electrocardiographic characteristics to differentiate from inferobasal crux (IBC) VA.

Background: The inferior basal septum is an uncommon source of idiopathic VAs, which can arise from its endocardial or epicardial (crux) aspect. Because the latter are often targeted from the coronary venous system or epicardium, distinguishing between the 2 is important for successful ablation.

Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing ablation of idiopathic VA from the BIS-LVe or IBC from 2009 to 2018 were identified and clinical characteristics and electrocardiographs of VA were compared.

Results: Of 931 patients undergoing idiopathic VA ablation, Virginia was eliminated from the BIS-LVe in 19 patients (2%) (17 male, age 63.7 ± 9.2 years, LV ejection fraction: 45.0 ± 9.3%). QRS complexes typically manifested right bundle branch block morphology with "reverse V pattern break" and left superior axis (more negative in lead III than II). VA elimination was achieved after median of 2 lesions (interquartile range [IQR]: 1-6; range 1 to 20) (radiofrequency ablation time: 123 s [IQR: 75-311]). Compared with 7 patients with IBC VA (3 male, age 51.9 ± 20.1 years, LV ejection fraction: 51.4 ± 17.7%), BIS-LVe VA less frequently had initial negative forces (QS pattern) in leads II, III, and/or aVF (p < 0.001), R-S ratio <1 in lead V (p = 0.005), and notching in lead II (p = 0.006) were narrower (QRS duration: 178.2 ± 22.4 vs. 221.1 ± 41.9 ms; p = 0.04) and more frequently had maximum deflection index of <0.55 (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The BIS-LVe region is an uncommon source of idiopathic VA. Distinguishing these from IBC VA is important for procedural planning and ablation success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.04.002DOI Listing
July 2019

Performance of Prognostic Heart Failure Models in Patients With Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy Undergoing Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2019 07 8;5(7):801-813. Epub 2019 May 8.

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study sought to assess the performance of established risk models in predicting outcomes after catheter ablation (CA) in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDCM) and ventricular tachycardia (VT).

Background: A correct pre-procedural risk stratification of patients with NIDCM and VT undergoing CA is crucial. The performance of different pre-procedural risk stratification approaches to predict outcomes of CA of VT in patients with NIDCM is unknown.

Methods: The study compared the performance of 8 prognostic scores (SHFM [Seattle Heart Failure Model], MAGGIC [Meta-analysis Global Group in Chronic Heart Failure], ADHERE [Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry], EFFECT [Enhanced Feedback for Effective Cardiac Treatment-Heart Failure], OPTIMIZE-HF [Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients with Heart Failure], CHARM [Candesartan in Heart Failure-Assessment of Reduction in Mortality], EuroSCORE [European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation], and PAINESD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Age > 60 Years, Ischemic Cardiomyopathy, New York Heart Association Functional Class III or IV, Ejection Fraction <25%, Presentation With VT Storm, Diabetes Mellitus]) for the endpoints of death/cardiac transplantation and VT recurrence in 282 consecutive patients (age 59 ± 15 years, left ventricular ejection fraction: 36 ± 13%) with NIDCM undergoing CA of VT. Discrimination and calibration of each model were evaluated through area under the curve (AUC) of receiver-operating characteristic curve and goodness-of-fit test.

Results: After a median follow-up of 48 (interquartile range: 19-67) months, 43 patients (15%) died, 24 (9%) underwent heart transplantation, and 58 (21%) experienced VT recurrence. The prognostic accuracy of SHFM (AUC = 0.89; goodness-of-fit p = 0.68 for death/transplant and AUC = 0.77; goodness-of-fit p = 0.16 for VT recurrence) and PAINESD (AUC = 0.83; goodness-of-fit p = 0.24 for death/transplant and AUC = 0.68; goodness-of-fit p = 0.58 for VT recurrence) were significantly superior to that of other scores.

Conclusions: In patients with NIDCM and VT undergoing CA, the SHFM and PAINESD risk scores are powerful predictors of recurrent VT and death/transplant during follow-up, with similar performance and significantly superior to other scores. A pre-procedural calculation of the SHFM and PAINESD can be useful to predict outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.04.001DOI Listing
July 2019

Clinical and electrophysiological characteristics of idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias originating from the slow pathway region.

Heart Rhythm 2019 09 18;16(9):1421-1428. Epub 2019 Jun 18.

Division of Cardiology, Electrophysiology Section, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Background: The slow pathway region (SPR) is commonly targeted during ablation of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia. However, its role in idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias (IVAs) remains unknown.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the electrocardiographic and electrophysiological characteristics of IVAs that were successfully ablated from the SPR.

Methods: Medical records of consecutive patients undergoing ablation of IVAs in the para-Hisian region between 2010 and 2018 were reviewed to identify subjects whose ventricular arrhythmias were targeted from the SPR.

Results: Among 63 patients with para-Hisian IVAs undergoing ablation, the SPR was targeted in 12 (20%; mean age 64 ± 7 years; 9 men). All patients presented with ventricular premature depolarizations manifesting left bundle branch block morphology with variable precordial transition (leads V-V) and a mean QRS duration of 131 ± 11 ms. In all cases, leads I and aVL had positive forces (R or Rs) and lead aVR had negative forces (QS or Qr). In the majority of cases, lead II had positive forces (R or Rs; n = 9 [75%]) and lead III had negative forces (rS or QS; n = 9 [75%]). Mean activation at the SPR was 31 ± 5 ms pre-QRS. All patients had initial ablation with radiofrequency, resulting in junctional rhythm in 9 (75%); 3 (25%) patients required additional cryoablation. Ablation was successful in 11 patients (92%). One patient required a permanent pacemaker for heart block but subsequently recovered intrinsic conduction.

Conclusion: The SPR can be a source of IVAs, which can be safely and successfully ablated in most cases using radiofrequency energy. IVAs arising from this location manifest unique electrocardiographic features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2019.06.013DOI Listing
September 2019

Ambulatory ECG predictors of atrial fibrillation are ineffective in severe sleep apnea.

J Electrocardiol 2019 Jul - Aug;55:120-122. Epub 2019 May 8.

Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Kingston, Ontario K7L 2V7, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is strongly associated with atrial fibrillation (AF). Long-term ECG monitoring with implantable loop recorders facilitates the identification of undiagnosed AF in 20% of severe OSA cases. However, ambulatory ECG (AECG) monitoring is less resource intensive, and various parameters have been shown to predict AF. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of such AECG-based AF predictors in identifying patients with severe OSA most at risk.

Methods: Prospective observational study including patients with severe OSA and no history of AF. Patients had two 24-h AECG recordings, and if no AF was detected, implanted with a loop recorder (maximum 3 years).

Results: Of 25 patients implanted, AF ≥ 10 s was detected in 5 patients. None of the parameters from the AECG recordings were significantly different between patients who did and did not develop AF.

Conclusions: AECG-based parameters were not effective for the prediction of AF in this severe OSA cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2019.05.002DOI Listing
June 2021

Ischemic ventricular tachycardia from below the posteromedial papillary muscle, a particular entity: Substrate characterization and challenges for catheter ablation.

Heart Rhythm 2019 08 11;16(8):1174-1181. Epub 2019 May 11.

Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Background: In patients with ischemic ventricular tachycardia (VT), substrate may be "protected" by the posteromedial papillary muscle (PMPM), explaining failure of endocardial-only ablation.

Objective: We sought to characterize the arrhythmogenic substrate and ablation approach in patients with ischemic VT mapped to the inferior left ventricle in which endocardial ablation failed because of inaccessible substrate underlying the PMPM.

Methods: We included 10 patients with recurrent ischemic VT, evidence of inferior scar, and failed endocardial ablation. In all patients, epicardial mapping was performed via a percutaneous (n = 9) or surgical (n = 1) approach, and VT elimination was achieved by ablation opposite to the PMPM. Clinical characteristics, electrocardiographic characteristics, and procedural data were analyzed.

Results: In all patients, intracardiac echocardiography showed hyperechoic scar below the PMPM, and 5 exhibited a pattern characterized by subendocardial basal scar that became intramural and epicardial at distal segments. In 4 patients, VT remained inducible despite endocardial scar isolation, manifested by the absence of electrograms, dissociated potentials, and/or exit block. Eleven inducible VTs were mapped to the epicardium underlying the PMPM: 8 had a right bundle branch block configuration with variable transition, while 3 exhibited left bundle branch block with negative concordance. An inferior QS pattern was present in 10 of 11 VTs. Noninducibility was achieved in 8 patients, and 7 patients remained arrhythmia-free after a mean follow-up of 27 ± 23 months.

Conclusion: In patients with inferior ischemic scar, VT may arise from the area underneath the PMPM, limiting endocardial ablation. Intracardiac echocardiography accurately defines the substrate distribution, and an epicardial approach may eliminate VT. A pattern of "basal-endocardial/apical-epicardial" ischemic involvement is described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2019.02.016DOI Listing
August 2019

Septal Coronary Venous Mapping to Guide Substrate Characterization and Ablation of Intramural Septal Ventricular Arrhythmia.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2019 07 8;5(7):789-800. Epub 2019 May 8.

Electrophysiology Section, Cardiovascular Division, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Heart Rhythm Service, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study describes the use of septal coronary venous mapping to facilitate substrate characterization and ablation of intramural septal ventricular arrhythmia (VA).

Background: Intramural septal VA represents a challenge for substrate definition and catheter ablation.

Methods: Between 2015 and 2018, 12 patients with structural heart disease, recurrent VA, and suspected intramural septal substrate underwent a septal coronary venous procedure in which mapping was performed by advancement of a wire into the septal perforator branches of the anterior interventricular vein. A total of 5 patients with idiopathic VA were also included as control subjects to compare substrate characteristics.

Results: Patients were 63 ± 14 years of age, and 11 (92%) were men. Most patients with structural heart disease had nonischemic cardiomyopathy (83%). Six patients underwent ablation for premature ventricular contractions (PVC) and 6 for ventricular tachycardia. All patients had larger septal unipolar voltage abnormalities than bipolar voltage abnormalities (mean area 35.3 ± 16.8 cm vs. 10.7 ± 8.4 cm, respectively; p = 0.01), Patients with idiopathic VA had normal voltage. Septal coronary venous mapping revealed low-voltage, fractionated, and multicomponent electrograms in sinus rhythm in all patients with substrate compared to that in patients with idiopathic VA (amplitude 0.9 ± 0.9 mV vs. 4.4 ± 3.7 mV, respectively; p = 0.007; and duration 147 ± 48 ms vs. 92 ± 10 ms, respectively; p = 0.03). Ablation targeted early activation, pace map match, and/or good entrainment sites from intraseptal recording. Over a mean follow-up of 339 ± 240 days, the PVC and insertable cardioverter-defibrillator therapies burden were significantly reduced (from a mean of 22 ± 11% to 4 ± 8%; p = 0.005; and a mean 5 ± 2 to 1 ± 1; p = 0.001, respectively). Most patients (80%) with idiopathic VA remained arrhythmia free.

Conclusions: In patients with suspected intramural septal VA, mapping of the septal coronary veins may be helpful to characterize the arrhythmia substrate, identify ablation targets, and guide endocardial ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.04.011DOI Listing
July 2019

How to use the 12-lead ECG to predict the site of origin of idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias.

Heart Rhythm 2019 10 4;16(10):1538-1544. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias may arise from anywhere in the heart, and the majority of them can be effectively treated with catheter ablation. The 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is the initial mapping tool to predict the most likely site of origin and is valuable to choose the appropriate ablation strategy. Crucial to ECG interpretation is understanding the attitudinal orientation of the heart within the chest and the relationship between the different cardiac structures. In this review, we provide a stepwise anatomical approach for the localization of idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias based on sequential analysis of the most relevant ECG features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2019.04.002DOI Listing
October 2019

Hybrid ablation for atrial fibrillation: the importance of achieving transmurality and lesion validation.

Minerva Cardioangiol 2019 Apr 27;67(2):115-120. Epub 2019 Mar 27.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada -

Therapeutic ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) has evolved significantly with progressive advancements in technology and surgical instruments. With the goal of minimizing surgical morbidity while maintaining the benefits of the traditional Cox-Maze procedure, surgical ablation for AF has undergone significant modifications. Most recently, an increased understanding of substrate complexity, predominantly in patients with persistent or long-standing persistent AF, has led to the development of a synergistic hybrid approach. The hybrid approach attempts to combine the benefits of epicardial ablation and catheter-based endocardial ablation in order to overcome the shortcomings associated with each technique alone. Importantly, the aid of electrophysiological intervention has provided new opportunities for evaluating lesion transmurality both acutely and in a staged approach. Therefore, the hybrid procedure may provide the optimal approach for the surgical treatment of AF, with the potential to tailor procedural treatment according to the patient's specific needs. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of current surgical techniques, including the implications of this novel hybrid approach in the management of AF and improving procedural outcomes. Recent findings from published studies are highlighted with a primary focus on the importance of lesion transmurality and validation in a hybrid setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0026-4725.19.04918-1DOI Listing
April 2019

[Management of bleeding associated with direct oral anticoagulants: update on reversal strategies].

Rev Med Chil 2019 ;147(1):73-82

División de Enfermedades Cardiovasculares, Hospital Clínico, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), including the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran and the direct factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban, apixaban and edoxaban have at least comparable efficacy as vitamin K antagonists along with a better safety profile, reflected by a lower incidence of intracranial hemorrhage. Specific reversal agents have been developed in recent years. Namely, idarucizumab, a specific antidote for dabigatran, is currently approved in most countries. Andexanet, which reverses factor Xa inhibitors, has been recently approved by the FDA, and ciraparantag, a universal antidote targeted to reverse all DOACs, is still under investigation. In this review we provide an update on the pharmacology of DOACs, the risk of hemorrhagic complications associated with their use, the measurement of their anticoagulant effect and the reversal strategies in case of DOAC-associated bleeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872019000100073DOI Listing
March 2019

Papillary muscle ventricular arrhythmias in patients with arrhythmic mitral valve prolapse: Electrophysiologic substrate and catheter ablation outcomes.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 06 18;30(6):827-835. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Department of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a common valve condition and has been associated with sudden cardiac death. Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) from the papillary muscles (PMs) may play a role as triggers for ventricular fibrillation (VF) in these patients.

Objectives: To characterize the electrophysiological substrate and outcomes of catheter ablation in patients with MVP and PM PVCs.

Methods: Of 597 patients undergoing ablation of ventricular arrhythmias during the period 2012-2015, we identified 25 patients with MVP and PVCs mapped to the PMs (64% female). PVC-triggered VF was the presentation in 4 patients and a fifth patient died suddenly during follow-up. The left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) was 50.5% ± 11.8% and PVC burden was 24.4% ± 13.1%. A cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was performed in nine cases and areas of late gadolinium enhancement were found in four of them. A detailed LV voltage map was performed in 11 patients, three of which exhibited bipolar voltage abnormalities. Complete PVC elimination was achieved in 19 (76%) patients and a significant reduction in PVC burden was observed in two (8%). In patients in which the ablation was successful, the PVC burden decreased from 20.4% ± 10.8% to 6.3% ± 9.5% (P = 0.001). In 5/6 patients with depressed LVEF and successful ablation, the LV function improved postablation. No significant differences were identified between patients with and without VF.

Conclusions: PM PVCs are a source of VF in patients with MVP and can induce PVC-mediated cardiomyopathy that reverses after PVC suppression. Catheter ablation is highly successful with more than 80% PVC elimination or burden reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.13900DOI Listing
June 2019

Roof-dependent atrial flutter with an epicardial component: Role of the septopulmonary bundle.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 Jul 5;30(7):1159-1163. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

International Arrhythmia Center, CardioInfantil Foundation, Bogotá, Colombia.

Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation may predispose patients to the development of atypical atrial flutters (AFL). We describe two cases of roof dependent AFLs that failed to terminate despite posterior wall isolation. An epicardial breakthrough involving the septopulmonary bundle is proposed. The correlation between the electrophysiological findings and the anatomical substrate is described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.13885DOI Listing
July 2019

Electrophysiologic Substrate, Safety, Procedural Approaches, and Outcomes of Catheter Ablation for Ventricular Tachycardia in Patients After Aortic Valve Replacement.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2019 01 26;5(1):28-38. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Electrophysiology Section, Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study sought to investigate the substrate, procedural strategies, safety, and outcomes of catheter ablation (CA) for ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with aortic valve replacement (AVR).

Background: VT ablation in patients with AVR is challenging, particularly when mapping and ablation in the periaortic region are necessary.

Methods: We identified consecutive patients with mechanical, bioprosthetic, and transcatheter AVR who underwent CA for VT refractory to antiarrhythmic drugs and analyzed VT substrate, approach to LV access, complications, and long-term outcomes.

Results: Overall, 29 patients (87% men, mean age 67.9 ± 9.8 years, left ventricular ejection fraction 39 ± 10%) with prior AVR (13 mechanical, 15 bioprosthetic, 1 transcatheter AVR) underwent 40 ablations from 2004 to 2016. Left-sided mapping/CA was performed in 27 patients (36 procedures). Access was retrograde aortic in 11 procedures (all bioprosthetic), transseptal in 24 (13 mechanical; 10 bioprosthetic; 1 transcatheter AVR), or transventricular septal in 1. Periaortic bipolar or unipolar scar was detected in all 24 patients in whom detailed periaortic mapping was performed. Clinical VT circuit(s) involved the periaortic region in 10 patients (34%), 2 (7%) had bundle branch re-entry VT, and 17 (59%) had substrate unrelated to AVR. There were 2 major complications (both related to vascular access). Only 2 patients (9.1%) had VT recurrence. Over median follow-up of 12.8 months, 11 patients died (none as a result of recurrent VT).

Conclusions: Whereas most patients undergoing CA for VT after AVR had VT from substrate unrelated to AVR, periaortic scar is universally present and bundle branch re-entry can be the VT mechanism. CA can be safely performed with excellent long-term VT elimination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2018.08.008DOI Listing
January 2019
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