Publications by authors named "Arian Sultan"

54 Publications

The European TeleCheck-AF project on remote app-based management of atrial fibrillation during the COVID-19 pandemic: centre and patient experiences.

Europace 2021 Apr 2. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Cardiology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Aims: TeleCheck-AF is a multicentre international project initiated to maintain care delivery for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) during COVID-19 through teleconsultations supported by an on-demand photoplethysmography-based heart rate and rhythm monitoring app (FibriCheck®). We describe the characteristics, inclusion rates, and experiences from participating centres according the TeleCheck-AF infrastructure as well as characteristics and experiences from recruited patients.

Methods And Results: Three surveys exploring centre characteristics (n = 25), centre experiences (n = 23), and patient experiences (n = 826) were completed. Self-reported patient characteristics were obtained from the app. Most centres were academic (64%) and specialized public cardiology/district hospitals (36%). Majority of the centres had AF outpatient clinics (64%) and only 36% had AF ablation clinics. The time required to start patient inclusion and total number of included patients in the project was comparable for centres experienced (56%) or inexperienced in mHealth use. Within 28 weeks, 1930 AF patients were recruited, mainly for remote AF control (31% of patients) and AF ablation follow-up (42%). Average inclusion rate was highest during the lockdown restrictions and reached a steady state at a lower level after easing the restrictions (188 vs. 52 weekly recruited patients). Majority (>80%) of the centres reported no problems during the implementation of the TeleCheck-AF approach. Recruited patients [median age 64 (55-71), 62% male] agreed that the FibriCheck® app was easy to use (94%).

Conclusion: Despite different health care settings and mobile health experiences, the TeleCheck-AF approach could be set up within an extremely short time and easily used in different European centres during COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euab050DOI Listing
April 2021

Mapping strategies for premature ventricular contractions-activation, voltage, and/or pace map.

Herzschrittmacherther Elektrophysiol 2021 Mar 3;32(1):27-32. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Klinik III für Innere Medizin - Allgemeine und interventionelle Kardiologie, Elektrophysiologie, Angiologie, Pneumologie und internistische Intensivmedizin, Abteilung für Elektrophysiologie, Uniklinik Köln, Kerpener Str. 62, 50937, Cologne, Germany.

A high premature ventricular contraction (PVC) burden is associated with an increase in cardiovascular mortality and may become clinically apparent through palpitations, reduced physical capacity or PVC-induced cardiomyopathy. Catheter ablation has been shown to be a more effective tool to treat patients with a high PVC burden than medical therapy alone. Current recommendations list catheter ablation as a class I option in patients with symptomatic idiopathic outflow tract PVCs as well as in patients with suspected PVC-induced cardiomyopathy. Careful planning is necessary to maximize efficiency and outcome of the ablation procedure. Prediction of the most likely PVC origin by studying the 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is important. A high burden of spontaneous PVCs is associated with a better outcome during and after the procedure; pharmacological provocation can be performed. Developments in high density mapping systems have greatly advanced accuracy and efficiency of arrhythmia mapping in recent years. Different systems are now available that allow the simultaneous use and integration of different mapping information in an automated manner. Voltage mapping, activation mapping and pace mapping are used in clinical practice today. Activation mapping is used to visualize the area of earliest activation. While it is a very accurate tool, it relies on a high burden of spontaneous PVCs. Pace mapping aims to find the target area by means of stimulation and comparison of paced QRS complexes with the clinical PVC. Today, mostly a combination of both methods is used to maximize procedure outcome and efficiency. While voltage mapping plays a primary role in the mapping of substrate-based sustained arrhythmias in patients with underlying structural heart disease, activation and pace mapping are the methods of choice for PVC mapping.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00399-021-00743-wDOI Listing
March 2021

ICD therapy in the elderly: a retrospective single-center analysis of mortality.

Herzschrittmacherther Elektrophysiol 2021 Jan 29. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Electrophysiology, Cologne, University Heart Center Cologne, Kerpener Str. 62, 50937, Köln, Germany.

Background: Current implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) guidelines do not impose age limitations for ICD implantation (IMPL) and generator exchange (GE); however, patients (pts) should be expected to survive for 1 year. With higher age, comorbidity and mortality due to non-sudden cardiac death increase. Thus, the benefit of ICD therapy in elderly pts remains unclear. Mortality after ICD IMPL or GE in pts ≥ 75 years was assessed.

Methods: Consecutive pts aged ≥ 75 years with ICD IMPL or GE at the University Hospital Cologne, Germany, between 01/2013 and 12/2017 were included in this retrospective analysis.

Results: Of 418 pts, 82 (20%) fulfilled the inclusion criteria; in 70 (55 = IMPL, 79%, 15 = GE, 21%) follow-up (FU) was available. The median FU was 3.1 years. During FU, 40 pts (57%) died (29/55 [53%] IMPL; 11/15 [73%] GE). Mean survival after surgery was 561 ± 462 days. The 1‑year mortality rate was 19/70 (27%) overall, 9/52 (17%) in pts ≥ 75 and 10/18 (56%) in pts ≥ 80 years. Deceased pts were more likely to suffer from chronic renal failure (85% vs. 53%, p = 0.004) and peripheral artery disease (18% vs. 0%, p = 0.02). During FU, seven pts experienced ICD shocks (four appropriate, three inappropriate). In primary prevention (n = 35) mortality was 46% and four pts experienced ICD therapies (two adequate); in secondary prevention (n = 35) mortality was 69% (p = 0.053) with three ICD therapies (two adequate).

Conclusion: Mortality in ICD pts aged ≥ 80 years was 56% at 1 and 72% at 2 years in this retrospective analysis. The decision to implant an ICD in elderly pts should be made carefully and individually.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00399-021-00742-xDOI Listing
January 2021

On-demand mobile health infrastructures to allow comprehensive remote atrial fibrillation and risk factor management through teleconsultation.

Clin Cardiol 2020 Nov 8;43(11):1232-1239. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Department of Cardiology, Maastricht University Medical Centre and Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Background: Although novel teleconsultation solutions can deliver remote situations that are relatively similar to face-to-face interaction, remote assessment of heart rate and rhythm as well as risk factors remains challenging in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Hypothesis: Mobile health (mHealth) solutions can support remote AF management.

Methods: Herein, we discuss available mHealth tools and strategies on how to incorporate the remote assessment of heart rate, rhythm and risk factors to allow comprehensive AF management through teleconsultation.

Results: Particularly, in the light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there is decreased capacity to see patients in the outpatient clinic and mHealth has become an important component of many AF outpatient clinics. Several validated mHealth solutions are available for remote heart rate and rhythm monitoring as well as for risk factor assessment. mHealth technologies can be used for (semi-)continuous longitudinal monitoring or for short-term on-demand monitoring, dependent on the respective requirements and clinical scenarios. As a possible solution to improve remote AF care through teleconsultation, we introduce the on-demand TeleCheck-AF mHealth approach that allows remote app-based assessment of heart rate and rhythm around teleconsultations, which has been developed and implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.

Conclusion: Large scale international mHealth projects, such as TeleCheck-AF, will provide insight into the additional value and potential limitations of mHealth strategies to remotely manage AF patients. Such mHealth infrastructures may be well suited within an integrated AF-clinic, which may require redesign of practice and reform of health care systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/clc.23469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7661648PMC
November 2020

Hydrochlorothiazide therapy: impact on early recurrence of atrial fibrillation after catheter ablation?

Minerva Cardiol Angiol 2021 Feb 29;69(1):102-108. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Electrophysiology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Background: Hypokalemia has been linked to electrocardiogram changes and afterdepolarization-mediated arrhythmias. However, the association between hypokalemia and atrial fibrillation (AF) has not been well studied. Hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) diuretic therapy was shown to be associated with hypokalemia in multiple studies. We aimed to determine whether HCT therapy is associated with early recurrence of AF after radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation during a 3-month follow-up.

Methods: We performed a retrospective registry analysis of our internal AF ablation registry, containing 807 consecutive patients that underwent RF ablation for symptomatic AF. Propensity score matching was used to match 156 patients on HCT therapy with 156 controls. Furthermore, we performed propensity score matching between the first and the fourth quartile of baseline serum potassium (K) concentrations in the initial population (N.=807).

Results: We observed a small but statistically significant difference in baseline mean potassium levels between the HCT group and the control group (4.03 mmol/L vs. 4.19 mmol/L respectively, P=0.001). There was no difference in short term recurrence of atrial fibrillation in the HCT group compared to the propensity score matched control group (41.0% [N.=64] vs. 45.5% [N.=71], P=0.424). In the comparison between the first and the fourth quartile of baseline serum potassium values, no difference in AF recurrence (38.2% [N.=63] vs. 37.0% [N.=61], P=0.820) during a 3-month follow-up after ablation was observed between both groups.

Conclusions: Patients on HCT therapy showed no difference in short term recurrence of AF after ablation compared to propensity matched controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05170-1DOI Listing
February 2021

First transcatheter leadless pacemaker implantation in a pediatric patient with a genetic disease.

Herzschrittmacherther Elektrophysiol 2020 Jun 5;31(2):235-237. Epub 2020 May 5.

Department of Electrophysiology, Heart Center, University of Cologne, Kerpener Str. 62, 50937, Cologne, Germany.

A pediatric patient suffering from Marden-Walker syndrome, a rare genetic disease, was referred to the authors' hospital for syncope due to bradycardia. Since this disease is associated with severe joint contractures, a transcatheter leadless pacing system (TPS) was chosen. Despite the small body size and complex anatomy, TPS implantation was feasible, demonstrating that it is a safe alternative in difficult venous access compared to a conventional pacemaker with increased risk of lead complications in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00399-020-00685-9DOI Listing
June 2020

Preventive or Deferred Ablation of Ventricular Tachycardia in Patients With Ischemic Cardiomyopathy and Implantable Defibrillator (BERLIN VT): A Multicenter Randomized Trial.

Circulation 2020 03 31;141(13):1057-1067. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Asklepios Klinik St Georg, Hamburg, Germany (A.M., K.-H.K.).

Background: Catheter ablation for ventricular tachycardia (VT) reduces the recurrence of VT in patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). The appropriate timing of VT ablation and its effects on mortality and heart failure progression remain a matter of debate. In patients with life-threatening arrhythmias necessitating ICD implantation, we compared outcomes of preventive VT ablation (undertaken before ICD implantation to prevent ICD shocks for VT) and deferred ablation after 3 ICD shocks for VT.

Methods: The BERLIN VT study (Preventive Ablation of Ventricular Tachycardia in Patients With Myocardial Infarction) was a prospective, open, parallel, randomized trial performed at 26 centers. Patients with stable ischemic cardiomyopathy, a left ventricular ejection fraction between 30% and 50%, and documented VT were randomly assigned 1:1 to a preventive or deferred ablation strategy. The primary outcome was a composite of all-cause death and unplanned hospitalization for either symptomatic ventricular arrhythmia or worsening heart failure. Secondary outcomes included sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmia and appropriate ICD therapy. We hypothesized that preventive ablation strategy would be superior to deferred ablation strategy in the intention-to-treat population.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 396±284 days, the primary end point occurred in 25 (32.9%) of 76 patients in the preventive ablation group and 23 (27.7%) of 83 patients in the deferred ablation group (hazard ratio, 1.09 [95% CI, 0.62-1.92]; =0.77). On the basis of prespecified criteria for interim analyses, the study was terminated early for futility. In the preventive versus deferred ablation group, 6 versus 2 patients died (7.9% versus 2.4%; =0.18), 8 versus 2 patients were admitted for worsening heart failure (10.4% versus 2.3%; =0.062), and 15 versus 21 patients were hospitalized for symptomatic ventricular arrhythmia (19.5% versus 25.3%; =0.27). Among secondary outcomes, the proportions of patients with sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmia (39.7% versus 48.2%; =0.050) and appropriate ICD therapy (34.2% versus 47.0%; =0.020) were numerically reduced in the preventive ablation group.

Conclusions: Preventive VT ablation before ICD implantation did not reduce mortality or hospitalization for arrhythmia or worsening heart failure during 1 year of follow-up compared with the deferred ablation strategy. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT02501005.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.043400DOI Listing
March 2020

Pulmonary vein isolation in a patient with congenital pulmonary atresia: a case report.

Eur Heart J Case Rep 2019 Sep 13;3(3):ytz115. Epub 2019 Jul 13.

Department of Electrophysiology, Heart Center, University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Str. 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany.

Background : Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart defect characterized by pulmonary valve stenosis, ventricular septal defect (VSD), overriding aorta, and right ventricular hypertrophy. In its' extreme form, the pulmonary valve orifice does not develop during organogenesis, resulting in pulmonary atresia. We report a case of catheter ablation of symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) in a 37-year-old patient with congenital pulmonary atresia.

Case Summary : The young man described paroxysmal tachycardia correlating to AF episodes in the previously implanted event recorder. Computed tomography scan described the complex anatomy with congenital pulmonary atresia, VSD, and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries. Electroanatomical mapping revealed typical pulmonary vein electrograms in a hypotrophic left atrium. Modified pulmonary vein isolation was successfully performed and non-excitability of the ablation line was reached. The patient recovered uneventfully and event recorder interrogation showed no AF recurrence after 3 months.

Discussion : Incidence of pulmonary atresia is low. Untreated survival rate is 50% after 1 year and 8% after 10 years. Tachycardia is a major cause of increased morbidity and mortality in patients with cyanotic congenital heart defects and pulmonary vein foci are described as driver for AF. Considerations preceding catheter ablation included pathophysiological mechanism, complex anatomy, atypical left atrium access, and reduced pulmonary perfusion resulting in a hypotrophic left atrium. Pulmonary veins showed typical electrograms, and isolation of pulmonary veins was feasible without adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjcr/ytz115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6764579PMC
September 2019

Internal Versus External Electrical Cardioversion of Atrial Arrhythmia in Patients With Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Circulation 2019 09 30;140(13):1061-1069. Epub 2019 Aug 30.

University of Cologne, University Hospital Cologne, Department of Electrophysiology (J.L., A.S., D.S.), Germany.

Background: Atrial arrhythmias are common in patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). External shocks and internal cardioversion through commanded ICD shock for electrical cardioversion are used for rhythm-control. However, there is a paucity of data on efficacy of external versus internal cardioversion and on the risk of lead and device malfunction. We hypothesized that external cardioversion is noninferior to internal cardioversion for safety, and superior for successful restoration of sinus rhythm.

Methods: Consecutive patients with ICD undergoing elective cardioversion for atrial arrhythmias at 13 centers were randomized in 1:1 fashion to either internal or external cardioversion. The primary safety end point was a composite of surrogate events of lead or device malfunction. Conversion of atrial arrhythmia to sinus rhythm was the primary efficacy end point. Myocardial damage was studied by measuring troponin release in both groups.

Results: N=230 patients were randomized. Shock efficacy was 93% in the external cardioversion group and 65% in the internal cardioversion group (<0.001). Clinically relevant adverse events caused by external or internal cardioversion were not observed. Three cases of pre-existing silent lead malfunction were unmasked by internal shock, resulting in lead failure. Troponin release did not differ between groups.

Conclusions: This is the first randomized trial on external vs internal cardioversion in patients with ICDs. External cardioversion was superior for the restoration of sinus rhythm. The unmasking of silent lead malfunction in the internal cardioversion group suggests that an internal shock attempt may be reasonable in selected ICD patients presenting for electrical cardioversion.

Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT03247738.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.041320DOI Listing
September 2019

Porous tip contact force-sensing catheters for pulmonary vein isolation: performance in a clinical routine setting.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2020 Mar 19;57(2):251-259. Epub 2019 Jul 19.

Department of Electrophysiology, Heart Center, University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Str. 62, 50937, Cologne, Germany.

Purpose: In catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF), contact force (CF)-sensing catheters with an irrigated tip are used to deliver radiofrequency (RF) energy to the tissue. The ThermoCool® Smarttouch™ Surroundflow catheter (STSF) integrates CF-sensing technology and a new porous tip for advanced external cooling. The aim was to evaluate the performance and safety of STSF in a clinical setting of pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) in comparison with standard contact force-sensing catheter (ST).

Methods: We assigned consecutive patients (n = 80, prospectively, open-label, non-randomized) with symptomatic AF to either PVI with STSF (n = 60) or ST (n = 20).

Results: Total ablation time to achieve PVI was significantly shorter in STSF compared to that in ST (STSF, 1556 ± 435 s vs. ST, 1922 ± 961 s; p = 0.045). Ablation time to achieve loss of pace capture of left pulmonary veins was shorter using STSF (left veins, 155 ± 140 s vs. 291 ± 188 s; p = 0.01; right veins, 208 ± 196 s vs. 369 ± 306 s; p = 0.09). Furthermore, administered irrigation fluid was significantly reduced in STSF (241.4 ± 79.6 ml vs. 540.3 ± 229.5 ml; p < 0.01). CF was lower during ablation of left pulmonary veins. One steam pop occurred in STSF, which did not lead to pericardial effusion (vs. no steam pop in ST). The Kaplan-Meier estimate 12-month AF recurrence was 34.3% and 37.7% (p = 0.8).

Conclusions: Integrating CF technology and the porous tip technology enables effective energy transfer to the tissue resulting in shorter ablation time and less irrigation fluid administration. In our cohort, PVI using the STSF was not associated with an increased complication rate or AF recurrence rate after 12-month follow-up when compared with the ST.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-019-00591-2DOI Listing
March 2020

Targeting Nonpulmonary Vein Sources in Persistent Atrial Fibrillation Identified by Noncontact Charge Density Mapping: UNCOVER AF Trial.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2019 07 27;12(7):e007233. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Royal Papworth Hospital Foundation Trust, Cambridge (A.G.).

Background Identification and elimination of nonpulmonary vein targets may improve clinical outcomes in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). We report on the use of a novel, noncontact imaging and mapping system that uses ultrasound to reconstruct atrial chamber anatomy and measures timing and density of dipolar, ionic activation (ie, charge density) across the myocardium to guide ablation of atrial arrhythmias. Methods The prospective, nonrandomized UNCOVER AF trial (Utilizing Novel Dipole Density Capabilities to Objectively Visualize the Etiology of Rhythms in Atrial Fibrillation) was conducted at 13 centers across Europe and Canada. Patients with persistent AF (>7 days, <1 year) aged 18 to 80 years, scheduled for de novo catheter ablation, were eligible. Before pulmonary vein isolation, AF was mapped and then iteratively remapped to guide each subsequent ablation of charge density-identified targets. AF recurrence was evaluated at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months using continuous 24-hour ECG monitors. The primary effectiveness outcome was freedom from AF >30 seconds at 12 months for a single procedure with a secondary outcome being acute procedural efficacy. The primary safety outcome was freedom from device/procedure-related major adverse events. Results Between October 2016 and April 2017, 129 patients were enrolled, and 127 underwent mapping and catheter ablation. Acute procedural efficacy was demonstrated in 125 patients (98%). At 12 months, single procedure freedom from AF on or off antiarrhythmic drugs was 72.5% (95% CI, 63.9%-80.3%). After 1 or 2 procedures, freedom from AF was 93.2% (95% CI, 87.1%-97.0%). A total of 29 (23%) retreatments because of arrhythmia recurrence were performed with average time from index procedure to first retreatment being 7 months. The primary safety outcome was 98% with no device-related major adverse events reported. Conclusions This novel ultrasound imaging and charge density mapping system safely guided ablation of nonpulmonary vein targets in persistent AF patients with 73% single procedure and 93% second procedure freedom from AF at 12 months. Clinical Trial Registration URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT02825992 EU/NCT02462980 CN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.119.007233DOI Listing
July 2019

Predictors of freedom from atrial arrhythmia recurrence after cryoballoon ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation: A multicenter study.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 09 2;30(9):1436-1442. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Department of Cardiology, Asklepios Klinik St. Georg, Hamburg, Germany.

Aims: We sought to assess (1) clinical outcomes of second-generation cryoballoon (CB) ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation (AF), and (2) the association of baseline and procedural covariates with atrial arrhythmia recurrence (AAR) after ablation.

Methods: A total of 135 patients (63 ± 11 years, 96 men [71%]) with persistent AF underwent CB ablation at three experienced electrophysiology centers. Freedom from AAR was estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method. A Cox proportional-hazards model was used to estimate the effects of baseline and procedural covariates on the likelihood of AAR.

Results: Freedom from AAR at 6, 12, and 18 months was estimated at 91% (95% confidence interval [CI] 86%-96%), 75% (95% CI, 67%-83%), and 53% (95% CI, 43%-65%), respectively. The presence of an implantable cardiac device (Hazard ratio [HR] 3.09; 95% CI, 1.37-7.00; P = .007), a left atrial (LA) diameter > 50 mm (HR 1.69; 95% CI, 1.02-2.79; P = .043), and absence of antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) therapy before the ablation procedure (HR 3.12; 95% CI, 1.72-5.64; P < .001) were associated with AAR. A trend toward an increased risk of AAR was revealed for women (HR 1.73; 95% CI, 0.96-3.11; P = .069).

Conclusions: CB ablation for persistent AF resulted in freedom from AAR about that reported for RF ablation. The presence of an implantable cardiac device, LA size, and absence of AAD therapy at baseline were associated with the risk of AAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14023DOI Listing
September 2019

Incidence of myopotential induction in subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator patients: Is the oversensing issue really solved?

Heart Rhythm 2019 10 7;16(10):1523-1530. Epub 2019 Jun 7.

University of Cologne, Department of Electrophysiology, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Background: The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) has established its role in the prevention of sudden cardiac death in a defined population. Inappropriate shocks and device malfunction in S-ICD therapy may be caused by myopotential (MP) oversensing.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to systematically evaluate a cohort of consecutive S-ICD patients for MP inducibility.

Methods: After S-ICD implantation, all vectors (primary [PrimV], secondary [SecV], alternative [AltV]) were analyzed during isometric chest press (ICP), lifting and holding a 20-kg weight, and side plank exercise (SPE), supporting the body weight on the left arm. When MPs were induced, signal classification was assessed: adequate noise detection, induced undersensing (R waves classified as noise), and oversensing (noise annotated as R waves). In case of noise induction in the current vector, device reprogramming to a noise-free vector was done.

Results: We systematically assessed 41 patients. In nearly all patients (90.2%), MPs were inducible. ICP was the most potent inductor of MPs. Whereas SecV (70.7%) and AltV (75.6%) were most vulnerable during ICP, PrimV was most affected during SPE (51.2%). In only a few cases did the S-ICD software distinguish correctly between MPs and QRS. MPs predominantly led to undersensing (up to 65.9%), but in up to 22% of patients MP-induced oversensing occurred but did not lead to tachycardia detection. No relation was seen between S-ICD lead and generator position and MP inducibility.

Conclusion: Induction of MPs during physical exercise was observed frequently. Although in most cases MP noise led to undersensing, oversensing events were commonly observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2019.04.044DOI Listing
October 2019

Implantation of a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator with right parasternal electrode position in a patient with D-transposition of the great arteries and concomitant AAI pacemaker: a case report.

Eur Heart J Case Rep 2018 Sep 12;2(3):yty099. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

Department of Electrophysiology, University Hospital Cologne, Heart Center, Kerpener Str. 62, Cologne, Germany.

Background: Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy is indicated in patients with structural heart disease who have had an aborted cardiac arrest (ACA). After atrial repair of d-transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA, Mustard repair) patients seem to be at a higher risk of failing intraoperative subcutaneous ICD (S-ICD) shock testing.

Case Summary: We report the case of a 45-year-old patient with congenital heart disease (CHD) who suffered a cardiac arrest from ventricular fibrillation and was subsequently implanted with a S-ICD. We describe the challenges of ICD therapy in patients after Mustard procedure for d-TGA, with the additional challenge of concomitant AAI pacemaker therapy. In this patient, we opted for the implantation of an S-ICD, and detail the necessary considerations and operative technique employed in this patient. A right parasternal electrode position was chosen and intraoperative shock testing was successful.

Discussion: Patients after atrial switch surgery for d-TGA and ACA require careful consideration of the appropriate type of ICD therapy. Subcutaneous ICD implantation with right parasternal electrode position may be a viable option in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjcr/yty099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6177110PMC
September 2018

The use of a high-resolution mapping system may facilitate standard clinical practice in VE and VT ablation.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2019 Sep 7;55(3):287-295. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Department of Electrophysiology, University of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937, Köln, Germany.

Background: First experiences using a 64-electrode mini-basket catheter (BC) paired with an automatic mapping system (Rhythmia™) for catheter ablation (CA) of ventricular ectopy (VE) and ventricular tachycardia (VT) have been reported.

Objectives: We aimed to evaluate (1) differences in ventricular access for the BC and (2) benefit of this technology in the setting of standard clinical practice.

Methods: Patients (pts) undergoing CA for VE or VT using the Intellamap Orion™ paired with the Rhythmia™ automated-mapping system were included in this study. For LV access, transseptal and retrograde access were compared.

Results: All 32 pts (29 men, age 63 ± 15 years) underwent CA for VE (17 pts) or VT (15 pts). For mapping of VE originating from the left ventricle (LV) in 10 out of 13 pts, a transaortic access was feasible. The predominant access for CA of VT was transaortic (5/7). Feasibility and safety seem to be equal. The total procedure time was 179.1 ± 21.2 min for VE ablation and 212.0 ± 71.7 min for VT ablation (p = 0.177). For VE, an acquisition of 1602 ± 1672 map points and annotation of 140 ± 98 automated mapping points sufficed to abolish VE in all pts. During a 6-month follow-up (FU) after CA for VE, a VE burden reduction from 18.5 ± 2.1% to 2.8 ± 2.2% (p = 0.019) was achieved. In VT pts, one patient showed recurrence of sustained VT episodes during FU.

Conclusion: Use of a high-resolution mapping system for VE/VT CA potentially facilitates revelation of VE origin and VT circuits in the setting of standard clinical practice. Feasibility and safety of a venous, transaortic, transseptal, or a combined approach seem to be equal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-019-00530-1DOI Listing
September 2019

Long-term efficacy and safety of radiofrequency catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation in patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices and transvenous leads.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 05 10;30(5):679-687. Epub 2019 Mar 10.

Department of Cardiology-Electrophysiology, University Hospital Hamburg, University Heart Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Introduction: Long-term efficacy and safety are uncertain in patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED) and transvenous leads (TVL) undergoing radiofrequency catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). Thus, we assessed the outcome of AF ablation in those patients during long-term follow-up using continuous atrial rhythm monitoring (CARM).

Methods And Results: A total of 190 patients (71.3 ± 10.7 years; 108 (56.8% men) were included in this study. At index procedure 81 (42.6%) patients presented with paroxysmal AF and 109 (57.4%) with persistent AF. The ablation strategy included pulmonary vein isolation in all patients and biatrial ablation of complex fractionated electrograms with additional ablation lines, if appropriate. AF recurrences were assessed by CARM- and CIED-related complications by device follow-up. After a mean follow-up of 55.4 ± 38.1 months, freedom of AF was found in 86 (61.4%) and clinical success defined as an AF burden less than or equal to 1% in 101 (72.1%) patients. Freedom of AF was reported in 74.6% and 51.9% (P = 0.006) and clinical success in 89.8% and 59.3% (P < 0.001) of patients with paroxysmal and persistent AF, respectively. In 3 of 408 (0.7%) ablation procedures, a TVL malfunction occurred within 90 days after catheter ablation. During long-term follow-up 9 (4.7%) patients showed lead dislodgement, 2 (1.1%) lead fracture, and 2 (1.1%) lead insulation defect not related to the ablation procedure.

Conclusion: Our findings using CARM demonstrate long-term efficacy and safety of radiofrequency catheter ablation of AF in patients with CIED and TVL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.13890DOI Listing
May 2019

Functional parameters impairment after MRI in a patient with a transcatheter pacing system.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2019 07 15;50(1):334-335. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

Department of Electrophysiology, University Heart Centre Cologne University Hospital Cologne Cologne, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.26588DOI Listing
July 2019

Efficacy and safety of cryoballoon ablation in the elderly: A multicenter study.

Int J Cardiol 2019 Mar 27;278:108-113. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Department of Cardiology, Asklepios Klinik St. Georg, Hamburg, Germany; Department of Cardiology, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany.

Background: The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases with age. Second-generation cryoballoon (CB2)-based PVI has demonstrated encouraging clinical results in the treatment of paroxysmal (PAF) and persistent atrial fibrillation (PersAF). The objective of this study was to assess data on safety, efficacy and long-term clinical success of CB2-based pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) in patients ≥75 years of age.

Methods: CB2-based PVI was performed in 104 patients ≥75 years of age (elderly group) and symptomatic AF (PersAF: n = 44, 42.3%) in three highly experienced German EP centers. The data was compared to propensity score matched patients with age <75 years (n = 104, control group; PersAF: n = 45, 43.3%, p = 0.956).

Results: The median age of the elderly group was 77.5 [75, 80] years while it was 63 [52, 70] years of control group patients (p = 0.0001). The median procedure time was 92.5 [75, 120] minutes (elderly group) and 100 [75, 120] (control group), p = 0.124. Major complications were registered in 7/104 (6.7%) elderly patients and 7/104 (6.7%) control group patients (p = 0.999). Clinical success in terms of freedom from AF recurrence after one-year follow-up was 80% (95% CI: 72-88) and 82% (95% CI: 75-90) and after three-year follow-up 59% (95% CI: 47-74) and 49% (95% CI: 37 64) for the elderly group and the control group, respectively (p = 0.7).

Conclusions: CB2-based PVI in patients ≥75 years of age appears safe, is associated with low procedure times and shows promising clinical success rates equal to patients of the younger population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.09.090DOI Listing
March 2019

Remote vs. conventional navigation for catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation: insights from prospective registry data.

Clin Res Cardiol 2019 Mar 29;108(3):298-308. Epub 2018 Aug 29.

Department of Electrophysiology, Heart Center University Hospital of Cologne, Kerpener Strasse 62, 50937, Cologne, Germany.

Background: Robotic (RNS) or magnetic navigation systems (MNS) are available for remotely performed catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF).

Objective: The present study compares remotely assisted catheter navigation (RAN) to standard manual navigation (SMN) and both systems amongst each other.

Methods: The analysis is based on a sub-cohort enrolled by five hospitals from the multicenter German ablation Registry.

Results: Out of 2442 patients receiving catheter ablation of AF, 267 (age 61.4 ± 10.4, 69.7% male) were treated using RAN (RNS n = 187, 7.7% vs. MNS n = 80, 3.3%). Fluoroscopy time [RNS median 17 (IQR 12-25) min vs. MNS 22 (16-32) min; p < 0.001] and procedure duration [RNS 180 (145-220) min vs. MNS 265 (210-305) min; p < 0.001] were significantly different. Comparing RAN (11%) to SMN (89%) fluoroscopy time (RAN 19 (13-27) min, vs. SMN 25 (16-40) min; p < 0.001), energy delivery (RAN 3168 (2280-3840) s vs. SMN 2640 (IQR 1799-3900) s; p = 0.008) and procedure duration [RAN 195 (150-255) min vs. SMN 150 (120-150) min; p = 0.001] differed significantly. In terms of acute and 12 months outcome, no differences were seen between the two systems or in comparison to SMN.

Conclusion: AF ablation can be performed safely, with high acute success rates using RAN. RNS results in less fluoroscopy burden and shorter procedure durations. Compared to SMN, a reduced fluoroscopy burden, prolonged procedure and ablation duration were observed using RAN. Overall, the number of RAN procedures is small suggesting low impact on clinical routine of AF ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-018-1356-6DOI Listing
March 2019

Correction to: first epicardial mapping of the left ventricle using the advisor ™ HD grid catheter.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2018 11;53(2):279-280

Department of Electrophysiology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Figure 1 as originally published was incorrect-on the published fig. 1C there is no RVA catheter and the wrong figure caption was used. Figure 1 has been corrected along with the figure caption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-018-0415-2DOI Listing
November 2018

First epicardial mapping of the left ventricle using the Advisor ™ HD Grid catheter.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2018 Oct 17;53(1):103-104. Epub 2018 Jun 17.

Department of Electrophysiology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-018-0388-1DOI Listing
October 2018

5-Year Outcome of Pulmonary Vein Isolation by Loss of Pace Capture on the Ablation Line Versus Electrical Circumferential Pulmonary Vein Isolation.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2017 11 2;3(11):1262-1271. Epub 2017 Aug 2.

Department of Electrophysiology, University Heart Center Cologne, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Objectives: This study sought to compare long-term arrhythmia-free survival between electrical circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) and PVI with the endpoint of unexcitability along the ablation line.

Background: PVI is the standard ablation strategy of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, although arrhythmia recurrence in long-term follow-up (FU) is high. The endpoint of unexcitability along the ablation line results in decreased arrhythmia recurrence compared to electrical PVI in 1-year FU.

Methods: Seventy-four consecutive patients (age 62.5 ± 10.6 years; 70.3% male) with de novo paroxysmal atrial fibrillation who were initially included in our randomized trial and underwent catheter ablation at our institution were analyzed. Patients who were randomized to either a conventional group (PVI, guided by circumferential catheter signals) or a pace-guided group (PG, anatomical ablation line encircling, ablation until loss of pace capture at 10 V, 2-ms pulse width on the ablation line) underwent long-term FU. The primary endpoint was recurrence of any atrial fibrillation or atrial tachycardia after a blanking period of 3 months.

Results: Sixty-nine patients completed a mean FU period of 5.14 ± 0.98 years. Arrhythmia-free survival without antiarrhythmic drug therapy was significantly higher in the PG group (71.05% vs. 25.81%, p = 0.002). Furthermore, multiple procedure success (1.29 ± 0.61 procedures in PG vs. 1.97 ± 1.06 procedures in conventional group, p < 0.001) was higher in the PG group compared to the conventional group (89.47% vs. 58.06%, p = 0.005).

Conclusions: The endpoint of unexcitability along the PVI line improves success rates, resulting in a significant reduction of exposure to invasive procedures in 5-year FU.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2017.04.019DOI Listing
November 2017

First endocardial mapping of the left ventricle using the AdvisorTM HD Grid Catheter in a patient with a mitral valve clip.

Eur Heart J 2018 08;39(31):2911

Department of Electrophysiology, University of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937 Köln, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy183DOI Listing
August 2018

Contact force facilitates the achievement of an unexcitable ablation line during pulmonary vein isolation.

Clin Res Cardiol 2018 Aug 2;107(8):632-641. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Department of Cardiology-Electrophysiology, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Aims: Contact force (CF) catheters provide catheter-tissue contact information to improve outcome of pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). We evaluated different target-CF values for achievement of the additional endpoint of an unexcitable ablation line.

Methods: A total of 106 patients undergoing PVI were randomized into three groups (G) (G1: target-CF 15 g, G2: target-CF 10 g, G3: CF concealed from operator). The PVI encircling line was divided into predefined sections. Excitable tissue along the PVI-line identified by high output pacing (10 V, 2 ms) was targeted for further ablation.

Results: Mean average CF was 17.4 ± 4.7 g (G1) vs. 12.3 ± 6.0 g (G2) vs. 11.1 ± 6.5 g (G 3) (p < 0.001). Primary unexcitable ablation lines were found in 38.6, 19.4 and 5.7% (G1, G2, G3 respectively; G1 vs. G2 p < 0.05, G1 vs. G3 p < 0.001, G2 vs. G3 ns). Additional radiofrequency (RF)-energy to achieve unexcitability was lowest in G1 (3.6 ± 3.1 kJ vs. 8.6 ± 7.2 kJ (G2) and 10.4 ± 6.7 (G3), p ≤ 0.001, G2 vs. G3 ns) with accordingly lowest additional RF applications in G1 (3.0 ± 2.6 vs. 7.0 ± 5.4 in G2 and 8.4 ± 4.0 in G3; G1 vs. G2 and G3, p < 0.001, G 2 vs. G 3 ns). Sections along ablation lines with low initial CF were most likely to reveal excitability. Single procedure success was 81.9 vs. 73.5 vs. 71.4% (G 1, 2 and 3, p = 0.6) during 437 ± 254 day follow-up.

Conclusion: Higher tip-to-tissue CF during PVI facilitates the achievement of an unexcitable ablation line, requiring less additional RF-energy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-018-1228-0DOI Listing
August 2018

Incidence of intracardiac thrombus formation prior to electrical cardioversion in respect to the mode of oral anticoagulation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2018 04 15;29(4):537-547. Epub 2018 Feb 15.

Department of Cardiology - Electrophysiology, University Hospital Mainz, Mainz, Germany.

Aims: To evaluate the incidence of newly diagnosed intracardiac thrombi (ICT) in respect to the mode of OAC in patients undergoing cardioversion (CV).

Methods And Results: We prospectively assessed transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and OAC therapy prior to CV in AF patients with ≥48-hour duration scheduled for CV. A total of 60 first-time ICT (4.7%) were diagnosed in 1,286 TEE, with highest rate in patients without OAC (9.6% vs. OAC 4.1%, P  =  0.009) and an apparently lower rate in nonvitamin K antagonist anticoagulants (NOAC) therapy compared to vitamin K antagonist (VKA) (2.5% vs. 5.3%, P  =  0.02). VKA therapy control 4 weeks prior to CV was overall average (time in therapeutic range 60%) and patients showed more frequently clinical characteristics and TEE parameters associated with risk for ICT. Even among patients with effective OAC therapy (uninterrupted NOAC and VKA therapy with international normalized ratio (INR) ≥2.0 for 3 weeks), ICT occurred in 2.7%, but with no difference between both groups (P  =  0.22). There was no difference between different types of NOAC. Independent predictors for ICT were history of embolism, hypertension, BMI, absence of OAC, renal function, reduced atrial appendage flow, and presence of spontaneous echo contrast.

Conclusion: NOAC therapy seems favorable in the overall prevention of ICT, although this is likely to be caused by suboptimal VKA therapy control and differences in the overall health status between VKA and NOAC patients. ICT occurred even with effective OAC therapy suggesting individual TEE-guided cardioversion in patients at risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.13447DOI Listing
April 2018

Effects of propofol sedation on pacing thresholds : Results from an observational cohort study.

Herzschrittmacherther Elektrophysiol 2018 Mar 14;29(1):127-132. Epub 2017 Nov 14.

Department of Electrophysiology, University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50823, Cologne, Germany.

Background: Propofol is one of the most commonly used intravenous anaesthetic drugs for surgical procedures. The use of propofol for sedation is also common practice during endoscopic procedures, electrophysiology studies, and ablation procedures, as well as pacemaker and defibrillator implantation. It was found that propofol alters the electrophysiologic properties of the heart and its conduction system. The effects of propofol on pacing thresholds are unknown and could have implications for pacemaker (PM) and defibrillator (ICD) implantation procedures, as well as sedation and anaesthesia in PM and ICD patients in general.

Objectives: We sought to investigate the effects of propofol sedation on atrial and right ventricular pacing thresholds in PM and ICD patients.

Materials And Methods: A total of 50 patients with PM, ICD, or cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) undergoing propofol sedation for electrophysiology (EP) investigation, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), electrocardioversion (ECV), or bronchoscopy were included prospectively. Pacing thresholds, impedance, and sensing were assessed by device interrogation immediately prior to sedation and after the desired sedation depth was achieved by the administration of propofol.

Results: Mean atrial (0.68 V vs 0.77 V, p = 0.136) and mean right ventricular thresholds (0.90 V vs 0.93 V, p = 0.274) remained unchanged. Impedances and sensing remained unaffected in all patients.

Conclusions: Propofol sedation did not affect pacing thresholds of atrial and right ventricular leads in this cohort of PM and ICD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00399-017-0538-7DOI Listing
March 2018

[3-D mapping of ventricular tachycardia in patients with dilative cardiomyopathy].

Herzschrittmacherther Elektrophysiol 2017 Jun;28(2):206-211

Abt. für Elektrophysiologie, Herzzentrum Uniklinik Köln, Kerpener Str. 62, 50937, Köln, Deutschland.

Catheter ablation of ventricular tachycardia (VT) is gaining in importance. The current guidelines suggest considering catheter ablation for VT even in patients with a single sustained and documented episode. This is also underlined by recent data indicating that absence of VT predicts lower mortality and longer transplant-free survival. The majority of patients with VTs have a history of prior myocardial infarction; in a smaller proportion, patients present with dilated cardiomyopathy. The latter has a less structured scar pattern which makes it more complicated to apply efficient ablation strategies. Data have shown that the probability of VT recurrence after catheter ablation is higher and an epicardial access more frequently required. Algorithms and strategies to improve catheter ablation results have been developed and evaluated especially on patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) to further improve outcomes. The present article will strive to acquaint the reader with the current strategies and state of knowledge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00399-017-0511-5DOI Listing
June 2017

Combination of a subcutaneous ICD in a patient with a baroreceptor activation device: Feasibility, safety, and precautions: A Case Report.

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2017 Dec 12;40(12):1486-1488. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

Department of Electrophysiology, University Heart Centre Cologne, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

We present a case of a patient with a baroreflex activation therapy (BAT) receiving a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD). We anticipated two possible hazardous interactions between the two devices. Stimulation by the BAT could be adjudicated as noise and result in underdetection of ventricular arrhythmias or it might be misinterpreted as ventricular arrhythmias and lead to inappropriate shocks. Postop ensing occurred, the upper limit of pulse width of the BAT was limited because of noise detection by the S-ICD, but the upper limit of amplitude was limited by patient's discomfort. In this patient, the combination of a BAT and an S-ICD was safe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pace.13109DOI Listing
December 2017