Publications by authors named "Jackson J Liang"

157 Publications

Coronary Arterial Vasospasm: A Rare Complication of Vein of Marshall Ethanol Infusion for Atrial Fibrillation.

JACC Case Rep 2020 Sep 15;2(11):1766-1770. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Arrhythmia Advanced Therapy Center, AOI Universal Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan.

A 75-year-old man was admitted for repeat ablation of atrial fibrillation. At 30 min after infusion of 3.5 ml of ethanol into the vein of Marshall, inferior ST-segment elevation with coronary arterial vasospasm was observed. This is the first report of coronary vasospasm after chemical ablation of the vein of Marshall. ().
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccas.2020.06.046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8312119PMC
September 2020

Pacemaker malfunction? What is the mechanism?

J Electrocardiol 2021 Jul 16;68:34-36. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Section of Electrophysiology, University of Michigan, MI, USA.

Pacing artifacts on ECG are commonly encountered in clinical practice. We present a case of an external interference from a chronic retained abdominal generator leading to an ECG manifestation of atria lead malfunction. Careful attention to history and physical examination can identify sources of external pacemaker artifact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2021.07.002DOI Listing
July 2021

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ventricular Tachycardias Involving the Sinuses of Valsalva in Patients With Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 Jun 22. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives: The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between cardiac scar on late gadolinium enhancement cardiac resonance imaging (LGE-CMR) and the presence of ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation target sites within the sinuses of Valsalva (SV).

Background: Patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) often have scarring involving the basal myocardium, including the SV, allowing targeting of VTs from within the SV.

Methods: Forty-three consecutive patients with IDCM underwent a VT ablation procedure with pre-procedure LGE-CMR. Retrospectively, scar characteristics were compared between patients with and without VT target sites in the SV. The ratio between SV-related scarring and the total cardiac scarring was defined as the SV scar index: SV-related scarring/total cardiac scarring.

Results: VT target sites were identified in the SV in 22 (51%) of 43 patients. LGE-CMR identified peri-aortic scarring involving the SV in 34 patients (79%). Scarring extended to the septum in 26 patients, involved the lateral basal wall in 4, and both areas in 13 patients. Scar volume within the SV was larger in patients with SV-VT targets (1.7 ± 0.9 cm vs. 0.7 ± 0.6 cm; p < 0.0001) compared with other patients. A cutoff scar volume identifying SV-VT targets was 1.23 cm in the short-axis view (area under the curve 0.82; sensitivity 0.64; specificity 0.91). The SV scar index was significantly greater in patients who had SV-VT target sites (0.33 ± 0.2 vs. 0.09 ± 0.09; p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Patients with IDCM undergoing ablation of VT often have peri-aortic scarring visualized on LGE-CMR. Both the presence and the extent of scarring adjacent to the aortic annulus are associated with the presence of VT target sites within the SV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2021.03.017DOI Listing
June 2021

Coronary Venous Mapping and Catheter Ablation for Ventricular Arrhythmias.

Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J 2021 Apr 25;17(1):13-18. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Catheter ablation is an effective treatment method for ventricular arrhythmias (VAs). These arrhythmias can often be mapped and targeted with ablation from the left and right ventricular endocardium. However, in some situations the VA site of origin or substrate may be intramural or epicardial in nature. In these cases, the coronary venous system (CVS) provides an effective vantage point for mapping and ablation. This review highlights situations in which CVS mapping may be helpful and discusses techniques for CVS mapping and ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14797/HUZR1007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8158455PMC
April 2021

Double ProGlide preclose technique for vascular access closure after leadless pacemaker implantation.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cardiac Arrhythmia Service, University of Michigan, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA.

Purpose: The use of vascular closure devices in patients receiving the Micra leadless pacemaker may shorten time to ambulation, facilitate same-day discharge, and reduce risk of venous thrombosis associated with manual hemostasis. We sought evaluate the feasibility of double Perclose ProGlide (Abbott, CA) preclosure for access site hemostasis after leadless pacemaker implant.

Methods: Patients with leadless pacemaker implant and double preclosure for access hemostasis from 2020 to 2021 were reviewed for complications requiring increase of flat time or transfusion, incidence of venous thromboembolism, and hemoglobin decrement. Two ProGlide devices were deployed with a double preclose technique after ultrasound guided wire access. Patients were instructed to lay flat for 2-4 h and were allowed to ambulate after.

Results: A total of 36 patients (age 74.5 ± 15.1 years, BMI 27.9 ± 9.0 kg/m, 30% female gender) were included with 6 having prior venous thromboembolism, 21 with AF, and 15 with chronic kidney disease. Anticoagulation was continued in 14 (8 direct oral anticoagulants, 2 warfarin, 4 intravenous heparin) and interrupted in 5. In one patient, minor rebleeding prompted 10 min of manual pressure and extension of flat time by 2 h. No patients had other complications, prolongation of flat time, transfusion, delayed re-initiation of anticoagulation, or venous thromboembolism within 30 days.

Conclusions: The double preclose technique is a safe and feasible method of achieving access site hemostasis and facilitates early ambulation after leadless pacemaker implantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-021-01009-8DOI Listing
May 2021

Gross Anatomic and Histologic Tissue Evaluation After Steam Pop During Radiofrequency Ablation of Ventricular Tachycardia.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 04;7(4):561-562

Cardiology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2021.01.004DOI Listing
April 2021

Stroke, Timing of Atrial Fibrillation Diagnosis, and Risk of Death.

Neurology 2021 03 3;96(12):e1655-e1662. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

From the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine (A.B., Y.B., M.C.H., J.A., D.J.C., N.C., S.D., A.E.E., D.S.F., F.C.G., R.K., J.J.L., D.L., S.N., M.P.R., P.S., R.D.S., G.E.S., F.M., R.D.), and Department of Neurology (S.R.M., S.E.K.), Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia; Department of Biostatistics (R.K.), University of Washington, Seattle; and Division of Cardiology (P.J.P.), St. Vincent Medical Group, Indianapolis, IN.

Objective: To evaluate the prognosis of patients with ischemic stroke according to the timing of an atrial fibrillation (AF) diagnosis, we created an inception cohort of incident stroke events and compared the risk of death between patients with stroke with (1) sinus rhythm, (2) known AF (KAF), and (3) AF diagnosed after stroke (AFDAS).

Methods: We used the Penn AF Free study to create an inception cohort of patients with incident stroke. Mortality events were identified after linkage with the National Death Index through June 30, 2017. We also evaluated initiation of anticoagulants and antiplatelets across the study duration. Cox proportional hazards models evaluated associations between stroke subtypes and death.

Results: We identified 1,489 individuals who developed an incident ischemic stroke event: 985 did not develop AF at any point during the study period, 215 had KAF before stroke, 160 had AF detected ≤6 months after stroke, and 129 had AF detected >6 months after stroke. After a median follow-up of 4.9 years (interquartile range 1.9-6.8), 686 deaths occurred. The annualized mortality rate was 8.8% in the stroke, no AF group; 12.2% in the KAF group; 15.8% in the AFDAS ≤6 months group; and 12.7% in the AFDAS >6 months group. Patients in the AFDAS ≤6 months group had the highest independent risk of all-cause mortality even after multivariable adjustment for demographics, clinical risk factors, and the use of antithrombotic therapies (hazard ratio 1.62 [1.22-2.14]). Compared to the stroke, no AF group, those with KAF had a higher mortality risk that was rendered nonsignificant after adjustment.

Conclusions: The AFDAS group had the highest risk of death, which was not explained by comorbidities or use of antithrombotic therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011633DOI Listing
March 2021

The value of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and programmed ventricular stimulation in patients with ventricular noncompaction and ventricular arrhythmias.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 Mar 23;32(3):745-754. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Introduction: Left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC) is associated with ventricular arrhythmias (VA) including premature ventricular complexes, and ventricular tachycardia (VT). The value of imaging with delayed enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance (DE-CMR) and programmed ventricular stimulation (PVS) for risk stratification in patients with VA and LVNC is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether DE-CMR and PVS are beneficial for risk stratification and whether CMR helps to identify VA target sites.

Methods And Results: Consecutive patients with LVNC undergoing ablation for VAs were included, all patients had preprocedure DE-CMR. A total of 23 patients (7 women, 46 ± 14 years, ejection fraction 35 ± 14) were included and followed for 2.9 ± 2.2 years. DE-CMR scar was present in 12/23 patients (52%). PVS was performed in 20/23 patients, 8/10 patients (80%) with scar were inducible for VT compared to 0/10 (0%) patients without scar (p < .001). VA target sites in patients with scarring were located adjacent to areas of scarring in all but 1 patient and ablation was successful in 15/23 patients (65%). Patients with scar had worse survival free of VT than those without scar (log rank p = .01) and patients with inducible VT had worse survival free of VT than those who were noninducible (log rank p < .001).

Conclusions: The presence of CMR defined scar in patients with LVNC was associated with inducible VT and worse outcomes. Inducibility for VT was associated with VT recurrence. Furthermore, CMR is beneficial in localizing the arrhythmogenic substrate in LVNC and therefore can aid in procedural planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14884DOI Listing
March 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

Impact of Intramural Scar on Mapping and Ablation of Premature Ventricular Complexes.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 Jun 24;7(6):733-741. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study sought to determine intramural scar characteristics associated with successful premature ventricular complex (PVC) ablations.

Background: Ablating ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) originating from intramural scarring can be challenging. Imaging of intramural scar location may help to determine whether the scar is within reach of the ablation catheter.

Methods: Mapping and ablation of premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) was performed in a consecutive series of patients with intramural scarring and frequent PVCs. Data from delayed enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance were assessed and the proximity of the endocardium containing the breakout site to the intramural scar was correlated with outcomes.

Results: Fifty-six patients were included, and intramural VAs were successfully targeted in 42 patients (75%) and ablation failed in 14 patients (25%). Scarring was more superficial to the endocardium in patients with successful ablations compared with patients with failed procedures (0.35 mm [interquartile range (IQR): 0.22 to 1.20 mm] vs. 2.45 mm [IQR: 1.60 to 3.13 mm]; p < 0.001). In 18 (32%) patients, ablation at the breakout site resulted in a significant change of the PVC-QRS morphology that could successfully be ablated in 9 of 12 patients from another anatomical aspect of the wall harboring the intramural scar. The scar was larger in size (1.79 cm [IQR: 1.25 to 2.85 cm] vs. 1.00 cm [IQR: 0.59 to 1.68 cm]; p < 0.005) compared with patients who did not have a change in the PVC-QRS morphology with ablation.

Conclusions: VAs in patients with intramural scaring can be successfully ablated especially if the intramural scar is within close proximity to the anatomic area containing the breakout site. Changes in the QRS-PVC morphology often precede successful ablation at another breakout site and indicate larger intramural scars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.11.004DOI Listing
June 2021

Strategies for Catheter Ablation of Left Ventricular Papillary Muscle Arrhythmias: An Institutional Experience.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 10 16;6(11):1381-1392. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

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

Objectives: This study sought to address whether technological innovations such as contact force sensing (CFS) can improve acute and long-term ablation outcomes of left ventricular papillary muscle (LV PAP) ventricular arrhythmias (VAs).

Background: Catheter ablation of LV PAP VAs has been less efficacious than another focal VAs. It remains unclear whether technological innovations such as CFS can improve acute and long-term ablation outcomes of LV PAP VA.

Methods: From January 2015 to December 2019, a total of 137 patients underwent LV PAP VA ablation. VA site of origin (SOO) was identified using activation and pace-mapping guided by intracardiac echocardiography. Radiofrequency energy (20 to 50 W for 60 to 90 s) was delivered by irrigated catheter with or without CFS. We defined acute success as complete suppression of targeted VA ≥30 min post ablation and clinical success as ≥80% VA burden reduction at outpatient follow-up.

Results: VA manifested as premature ventricular complexes in 98 (71%), nonsustained ventricular tachycardia in 18 (13%), sustained ventricular tachycardia in 12 (9%) and premature ventricular complexes induced ventricular fibrillation in 9 (7%). VA SOO was anterolateral PAP in 51 (37%), posteromedial PAP in 73 (53%), and both PAPs in 13 (10%). VAs were targeted using CFS in 97 (71%) and non-CFS in 40 (29%). After a single procedure, acute success was achieved in 130 (95%) and clinical success was achieved in 112 (82%); neither was impacted by VA SOO and/or CFS. Complications occurred in 5 patients (3.6%).

Conclusion: Independent of CFS technology, intracardiac echocardiography-guided catheter ablation is highly efficacious and may be considered as first-line therapy in the management of LV PAP VA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.06.026DOI Listing
October 2020

Late Multimodality Imaging After Steam Pops During Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation for Ventricular Arrhythmias.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 10;6(10):1332-1334

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.05.038DOI Listing
October 2020

Association of septal late gadolinium enhancement on cardiac magnetic resonance with ventricular tachycardia ablation targets in nonischemic cardiomyopathy.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 12 27;31(12):3262-3276. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, Cardiology and Electrophysiology Section, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Background: Ablation of septal substrate-associated ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) is challenging. We sought to standardize the characterization of septal substrates on late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and to examine the association of that substrate with VT exit and isthmus sites on invasive mapping.

Methods: LGE-CMR was performed before electroanatomic mapping and ablation for VT in 20 NICM patients. LGE extent and distribution were quantified using myocardial signal-intensity Z scores (SI-Z). The SI-Z thresholds correlating to previously validated voltage thresholds, for abnormal tissue and dense scar were defined.

Results: Bipolar and unipolar (electrogram) voltage amplitude measurements from the LV and RV were negatively associated with SI-Z from LGE-CMR imaging (p < .05). SI-Z thresholds for appropriate CMR identification of septal substrates were determined to be greater than -.15 for border zone and greater than .03 for a dense scar. Among all patients, 34 critical VT sites were identified with SI-Z distribution in the range of -.97 to .06. Thirty (88.2%) critical sites were located in the dense LGE, 1 (2.9%) in the border zone, and 3 (8.9%) in healthy tissue but within 7 mm of LGE. Of note, critical VT sites were all located at the basal septum close to valves (distance to aortic valve: 17.5 ± 31.2 mm, mitral valve: 21.2 ± 8.7 mm) in nonsarcoidosis cases.

Conclusions: Critical sites of septal VT in NICM patients are predominantly in the CMR defined dense scar when using standardized signal-intensity thresholds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14777DOI Listing
December 2020

Clinical significance of myocardial scar in patients with frequent premature ventricular complexes undergoing catheter ablation.

Heart Rhythm 2021 01 25;18(1):20-26. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Electronic address:

Background: Frequent premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) can result in PVC-induced cardiomyopathy (PICM). Scarring has been described in patients with frequent PVCs in the absence of apparent heart disease and in patients with known cardiomyopathy.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of focal myocardial scarring as detected by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) on PICM, procedural outcomes, and recovery of left ventricular function in patients with frequent PVCs.

Methods: A total of 351 consecutive patients (181 men; age 53 ± 15 years; ejection fraction [EF] 51% ± 12%) with frequent PVCs referred for ablation were included. CMR was performed in all patients before the ablation procedure. A ≥10% increase in EF or normalization of a previously abnormal EF was defined as evidence of PICM.

Results: Myocardial scarring was present in 134 of 351 patients (38%); 66 of 134 patients (49%) with scarring and 54 of 217 patients (25%) without scarring had improvement or normalization of EF after ablation. The presence of myocardial scarring, PVC burden >22%, male sex, asymptomatic status, and PVC QRS width >150 ms were associated with PICM by univariate analysis (P <.01 for all). The presence of scar was independently associated with PICM (odds ratio 2.2; 95% confidence interval 1.3-3.7; P <.005). The success rate of PVC ablation was lower in patients with scarring than in patients without focal scarring (mean 70% vs 82%; P <.01).

Conclusion: Focal scar defined by CMR is independently associated with PICM. Although ablation outcomes are worse in the presence of scarring, EF recovery can occur in most of these patients after ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.07.030DOI Listing
January 2021

Multimodality Imaging to Guide Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation in Patients with Non-ischaemic Cardiomyopathy.

Arrhythm Electrophysiol Rev 2020 Feb;8(4):255-264

Electrophysiology Section, Cardiovascular Division, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, US.

Catheter ablation is an effective treatment option for ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy (NICM). The heterogeneous nature of NICM aetiologies and VT substrate in patients with NICM play a role in long-term ablation outcomes in this population. Over the past decades, more precise identification of NICM aetiologies and better characterisation of various substrates have been made. Application of multimodal imaging has greatly contributed to the accurate diagnosis of NICM subtypes and improved VT ablation strategies. This article summarises the current knowledge of multimodal imaging used in the characterisation of non-ischaemic NICM substrates, procedural planning and image integration for the optimisation of VT ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15420/aer.2019.37.3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7358957PMC
February 2020

Can Anticoagulation Be Stopped After Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation?

Curr Cardiol Rep 2020 06 19;22(8):58. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Electrophysiology Section, Division of Cardiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 9 Founders Pavilion, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Purpose Of Review: This review discusses the pros and cons of discontinuing oral anticoagulation therapy (OAT) after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF), and data from relevant studies, and summarizes the most recent Expert Consensus recommendations on the topic.

Recent Findings: Patients with AF are at risk of cerebrovascular embolic events (CVEs) including stroke and transient ischemic attacks. OAT can be effective in preventing CVEs, while catheter ablation is an effective treatment to eliminate AF. Whether OAT can be safely discontinued after successful AF ablation remains a controversial topic. Retrospective studies have suggested that successful AF ablation may mitigate the risk of CVE such that OAT may be discontinued in select patients after AF ablation. In certain patients with AF who undergo successful AF ablation, OAT might be able to be safely discontinued with continued long-term rhythm monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11886-020-01313-1DOI Listing
June 2020

Risk Stratification of Patients With Apparently Idiopathic Premature Ventricular Contractions: A Multicenter International CMR Registry.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 06 18;6(6):722-735. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, Adelaide, Australia; Cardiac Imaging Unit, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study investigated the prevalence and prognostic significance of concealed myocardial abnormalities identified by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in patients with apparently idiopathic premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).

Background: The role of CMR imaging in patients with frequent PVCs and otherwise negative diagnostic workup is uncertain.

Methods: This was a multicenter, international study that included 518 patients (age 44 ± 15 years; 57% men) with frequent (>1,000/24 h) PVCs and negative routine diagnostic workup. Patients underwent a comprehensive CMR protocol including late gadolinium enhancement imaging for detection of necrosis and/or fibrosis. The study endpoint was a composite of sudden cardiac death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, and nonfatal episodes of ventricular fibrillation or sustained ventricular tachycardia that required appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy.

Results: Myocardial abnormalities were found in 85 (16%) patients. Male gender (odds ratio [OR]: 4.28; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.06 to 8.93; p = 0.01), family history of sudden cardiac death and/or cardiomyopathy (OR: 3.61; 95% CI: 1.33 to 9.82; p = 0.01), multifocal PVCs (OR: 11.12; 95% CI: 4.35 to 28.46; p < 0.01), and non-left bundle branch block inferior axis morphology (OR: 14.11; 95% CI: 7.35 to 27.07; p < 0.01) were all significantly related to the presence of myocardial abnormalities. After a median follow-up of 67 months, the composite endpoint occurred in 26 (5%) patients. Subjects with myocardial abnormalities on CMR had a higher incidence of the composite outcome (n = 25; 29%) compared with those without abnormalities (n = 1; 0.2%; p < 0.01).

Conclusions: CMR can identify concealed myocardial abnormalities in 16% of patients with apparently idiopathic frequent PVCs. Presence of myocardial abnormalities on CMR predict worse clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.10.015DOI Listing
June 2020

Association of scar distribution with epicardial electrograms and surface ventricular tachycardia QRS duration in nonischemic cardiomyopathy.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 08 24;31(8):2032-2040. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Introduction: The association of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) on cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) with epicardial and surface ventricular tachycardia (VT) electrogram features, in nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM), is unknown. We sought to define the association of LGE and viable wall thickness with epicardial electrogram features and exit site paced QRS duration in patients with NICM.

Methods: A total of 19 patients (age 53.5 ± 11.5 years) with NICM (ejection fraction 40.2 ± 13.2%) underwent CMR before VT ablation. LGE transmurality was quantified on CMR and coregistered with 2294 endocardial and 2724 epicardial map points.

Results: Both bipolar and unipolar voltage were associated with transmural signal intensity on CMR. Longer electrogram duration and fractionated potentials were associated with increased LGE transmurality, but late potentials or local abnormal ventricular activity were more prevalent in nontransmural versus transmural LGE regions (p < .05). Of all critical VT sites, 19% were located adjacent to regions with LGE but normal bipolar and unipolar voltage. Exit site QRS duration was affected by LGE transmurality and intramural scar location, but not by wall thickness, at the impulse origin.

Conclusions: In patients with NICM and VT, LGE is associated with epicardial electrogram features and may predict critical VT sites. Additionally, exit site QRS duration is affected by LGE transmurality and intramural location at the impulse origin or exit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14618DOI Listing
August 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

Radiofrequency ablation in dense ventricular scar-Longer continuous lesions may be beneficial.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 07 15;31(7):1891. Epub 2020 May 15.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14535DOI Listing
July 2020

Bipolar ablation for intramural ventricular tachycardia substrate: Ready for prime time?

Heart Rhythm 2020 09 1;17(9):1508-1509. Epub 2020 May 1.

Electrophysiology Section, Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.04.034DOI Listing
September 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

Diagnosis of cardiac amyloidosis in patients undergoing catheter ablation for atrial arrhythmias.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2020 Apr 19;57(3):489-490. Epub 2020 Mar 19.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-020-00719-9DOI Listing
April 2020

Radiofrequency-Assisted Transseptal Access for Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Via a Superior Approach.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 03 29;6(3):272-281. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

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

Objectives: This study describes the technique and outcomes of atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation via a superior approach in patients with interrupted or absent inferior vena cavas (IVCs).

Background: In patients with interrupted or absent IVCs, transseptal access cannot be obtained via standard femoral venous access. In these patients, alternative strategies are necessary to permit catheter ablation in the left atrium (LA). This study reports on the outcomes of AF ablation from a superior venous access with a radiofrequency (RF)-assisted transseptal puncture (TSP) technique.

Methods: This study identified patients with interrupted or absent IVCs who underwent AF ablation via a superior approach at 2 ablation centers from 2010 to 2019.

Results: Fifteen patients (mean age: 50.8 ± 11.2 years; 10 men; 10 with paroxysmal AF) with interrupted or absent IVCs underwent AF ablation with transseptal access via a superior approach. Successful TSP was performed either with a manually bent RF transseptal needle (early cases: n = 4) or using a RF wire (late cases: n = 11); this approach permitted LA mapping and ablation in all patients. Mean time required to perform single (n = 8) or double (n = 7) TSP was 16.1 ± 4.8 min, and mean total procedure time was 227.9 ± 120.7 min (fluoroscopy time: 57.0 ± 28.5 min). LA mapping and ablation were successfully performed in all patients.

Conclusions: In patients with AF undergoing catheter ablation and who had a standard transseptal approach via femoral venous approach is impossible due to anatomic constraints, RF-assisted transseptal access via a superior approach can be an effective alternative strategy to permit LA mapping and ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.10.019DOI Listing
March 2020

Clinical and procedural characteristics predicting need for chronotropic support and permanent pacing post-heart transplantation.

Heart Rhythm 2020 07 27;17(7):1132-1138. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

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

Background: Postoperative bradycardia can complicate orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT). Previous studies suggested donor age and surgical technique as possible risk factors. However, risk factors in the era of bicaval anastomosis have not been elucidated.

Objective: We sought to examine the association between donor/recipient characteristics with need for chronotropic support and permanent pacemaker (PPM) implantation in patients with OHT.

Methods: All patients treated with OHT between January 2003 and January 2018 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania were retrospectively evaluated until June 2018. Chronotropic support was given upon postoperative inability to increase the heart rate to patient's demands and included disproportionate bradycardia and junctional rhythm.

Results: A total of 820 patients (mean age 51.3 ± 12.6 years; 607, 74% men) underwent 826 OHT procedures (787 patients, 95.3% bicaval anastomosis). Patients who were exposed to amiodarone (odds ratio [OR] 2.30; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.58-3.34; P < .001) and have older donor (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.01-1.04; P = .001) were more likely to develop need for chronotropic support. In multivariable analysis, recipient age (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.00-1.06; P = .04) and biatrial anastomosis (OR 6.12; 95% CI 2.48-15.09) were significantly associated with PPM implantation within 6 months of OHT. No association was found between pre-OHT amiodarone use and PPM implantation. No risk factors assessed were associated with PPM implantation 6 months post-OHT.

Conclusion: Surgical technique and donor age were the main risk factors for the need for chronotropic support post-OHT, whereas surgical technique and recipient age were risk factors for early PPM implantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.02.021DOI Listing
July 2020

Non-Scar-Related and Purkinje-Related Ventricular Tachycardia in Patients With Structural Heart Disease: Prevalence, Mapping Features, and Clinical Outcomes.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 02 18;6(2):231-240. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

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

Objectives: This study sought to evaluate the prevalence, mapping features, and ablation outcomes of non-scar-related ventricular tachycardia (NonScar-VT) and Purkinje-related VT (Purkinje-VT) in patients with structural heart disease.

Background: VT in structural heart disease is typically associated with scar-related myocardial re-entry. NonScar-VTs arising from areas of normal myocardium or Purkinje-VTs originating from the conduction system are less common.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 690 patients with structural heart disease who underwent VT ablation between 2013 and 2017.

Results: A total of 37 (5.4%) patients (16 [43%] with ischemic cardiomyopathy, 16 [43%] with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, and 5 [14%] others) demonstrated NonScar/Purkinje-VTs, which represented the clinical VT in 76% of cases. Among the 37 VTs, 31 (84%) were Purkinje-VTs (28 bundle branch re-entrant VT). The remaining 6 (16%) VTs were NonScar-VTs and included 4 idiopathic outflow tract VTs. A total of 16 patients had prior history of VT ablations: empirical scar substrate modification was performed in 6 (38%) patients and residual inducibility of VT had not been assessed in 7 (44%). In all 37 patients, the NonScar/Purkinje-VT was successfully ablated. After a median follow-up of 18 months, the targeted NonScar/Purkinje-VT did not recur in any patients, and 28 (76%) of patients were free from any recurrent VT episodes.

Conclusions: NonScar/Purkinje-VTs can be identified in 5.4% of patients undergoing VT ablation in the setting of structural heart disease. Careful effort to induce, characterize, and map these VTs is important because substrate-based ablation strategies would fail to eliminate these types of VT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.09.014DOI Listing
February 2020

Trends in Successful Ablation Sites and Outcomes of Ablation for Idiopathic Outflow Tract Ventricular Arrhythmias.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 02 27;6(2):221-230. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

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

Objectives: This study sought to examine clinical characteristics of procedural and long-term outcomes in patients undergoing catheter ablation (CA) of outflow tract ventricular arrhythmias (OT-VAs) over 16 years.

Background: CA is an effective treatment strategy for OT-VAs.

Methods: Patients undergoing CA for OT-VAs from 1999 to 2015 were divided into 3 periods: 1999 to 2004 (early), 2005 to 2010 (middle), and 2011 to 2015 (recent). Successful ablation site (right ventricular OT, aortic cusps/left ventricular OT, or coronary venous system/epicardium), VA morphology (right bundle branch block or left bundle branch block), and acute and clinical success rates were assessed.

Results: Six hundred eighty-two patients (336 female) were included (early: n = 97; middle: n = 204; recent: n = 381). Over time there was increase in use of irrigated ablation catheters and electroanatomic mapping, and more VAs were ablated from the aortic cusp/left ventricular OT or coronary venous system/epicardium (14% vs. 45% vs. 56%; p < 0.0001). Acute procedural success was achieved in 585 patients (86%) and was similar between groups (82% vs. 84% vs. 88%; p = 0.27). Clinical success was also similar between groups (86% vs. 87% vs. 88%; p = 0.94), but more patients in earlier periods required repeat ablation (18% vs. 17% vs. 9%; p = 0.02). Overall complication rate was 2% (similar between groups).

Conclusions: Over a 16-year period there was an increase in patients undergoing CA for OT-VTs, with more ablations performed at non-right ventricular outflow tract locations using electroanatomic mapping and irrigated-tip catheters. Over time, single procedure success has improved and complications have remained limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.10.004DOI Listing
February 2020

Incidence of Left Atrial Appendage Triggers in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Undergoing Catheter Ablation.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 01 30;6(1):21-30. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

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

Objective: This study sought to investigate incidence of left atrial appendage (LAA) triggers of atrial fibrillation (AF) and/or organized atrial tachycardias (OAT) in patients undergoing AF ablation and to evaluate outcomes after ablation.

Background: Although LAA isolation is being increasingly performed during AF ablation, the true incidence of LAA triggers for AF remains unclear.

Methods: All patients with LAA triggers of AF and/or OAT during AF ablation from 2001 to 2017 were included. LAA triggers were defined as atrial premature depolarizations from the LAA, which initiated sustained AF and/or OAT.

Results: Out of 7,129 patients undergoing AF ablation over 16 years, LAA triggers were observed in 21 (0.3%) subjects (age 60 ± 9 years; 57% males; 52% persistent AF). Twenty (95%) patients were undergoing repeat ablation. The LAA was the only nonpulmonary vein trigger in 3 patients; the remaining 18 patients had both LAA and other nonpulmonary vein triggers. LAA triggers were eliminated in all patients (focal ablation in 19 patients; LAA isolation in 2 patients). Twelve months after ablation, 47.6% remained free from recurrent arrhythmia. After overall follow-up of 5.0 ± 3.6 years (median: 3.7 years; interquartile range: 1.4 to 8.9 years), 38.1% were arrhythmia-free. All 3 patients with triggers limited to the LAA remained free of AF recurrence. One patient undergoing LAA isolation developed LAA thrombus during follow-up.

Conclusions: The incidence of true LAA triggers is very low (0.3%). Most patients with LAA triggers have additional nonpulmonary vein triggers, and despite elimination of LAA triggers, long-term arrhythmia recurrence rates remain high. Potential risks of empiric LAA isolation during AF ablation (especially first-time AF ablation) may outweigh benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.08.012DOI Listing
January 2020

Characterization of Structural Changes in Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy With Recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia After Ablation: Insights From Repeat Electroanatomic Voltage Mapping.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2020 01 10;13(1):e007611. Epub 2020 Jan 10.

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

Background: Data characterizing structural changes of arrhythmogenic right ventricular (RV) cardiomyopathy are limited.

Methods: Patients presenting with left bundle branch block ventricular tachycardia in the setting of arrhythmogenic RV cardiomyopathy with procedures separated by at least 9 months were included.

Results: Nineteen consecutive patients (84% males; mean age 39±15 years [range, 20-76 years]) were included. All 19 patients underwent 2 detailed sinus rhythm electroanatomic endocardial voltage maps (average 385±177 points per map; range, 93-847 points). Time interval between the initial and repeat ablation procedures was mean 50±37 months (range, 9-162). No significant progression of voltage was observed (bipolar: 38 cm [interquartile range (IQR), 25-54] versus 53 cm [IQR, 25-65], =0.09; unipolar: 116 cm [IQR, 61-209] versus 159 cm [IQR, 73-204], =0.36) for the entire study group. There was a significant increase in RV volumes (percentage increase, 28%; 206 mL [IQR, 170-253] versus 263 mL [IQR, 204-294], <0.001) for the entire study population. Larger scars at baseline but not changes over time were associated with a significant increase in RV volume (bipolar: Spearman ρ, 0.6965, =0.006; unipolar: Spearman ρ, 0.5743, =0.03). Most patients with progressive RV dilatation (8/14, 57%) had moderate (2 patients) or severe (6 patients) tricuspid regurgitation recorded at either initial or repeat ablation procedure.

Conclusions: In patients with arrhythmogenic RV cardiomyopathy presenting with recurrent ventricular tachycardia, >10% increase in RV endocardial surface area of bipolar voltage consistent with scar is uncommon during the intermediate term. Most recurrent ventricular tachycardias are localized to regions of prior defined scar. Voltage indexed scar area at baseline but not changes in scar over time is associated with progressive increase in RV size and is consistent with adverse remodeling but not scar progression. Marked tricuspid regurgitation is frequently present in patients with arrhythmogenic RV cardiomyopathy who have progressive RV dilation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.119.007611DOI Listing
January 2020
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