Publications by authors named "Michael P Riley"

80 Publications

Interatrial septal tachycardias following atrial fibrillation ablation or cardiac surgery: Electrophysiological features and ablation outcomes.

Heart Rhythm 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

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

Background: Interatrial septal tachycardias (IAS-ATs) following atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation or cardiac surgery are rare, and their management is challenging.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the electrophysiological features and outcomes associated with catheter ablation of IAS-AT.

Methods: We screened 338 patients undergoing catheter ablation of ATs following AF ablation or cardiac surgery. Diagnosis of IAS-AT was based on activation mapping and analysis of response to atrial overdrive pacing.

Results: Twenty-nine patients (9%) had IAS-AT (cycle length [CL] 311 ± 104 ms); 16 (55%) had prior AF ablation procedures (median 3; range 1-5), 3 (10%) had prior surgical maze, and 12 (41%) had prior cardiac surgery (including atrial septal defect surgical repair in 5 and left atrial myxoma resection in 1). IAS substrate abnormalities were documented in all patients. Activation mapping always demonstrated a diffuse early IAS breakout with centrifugal biatrial activation, and atrial overdrive pacing showed a good postpacing interval (equal or within 25 ms of the AT CL) only at 1 or 2 anatomically opposite IAS sites in all cases. Ablation was acutely successful in 27 patients (93%) (from only the right IAS in 2, only the left IAS in 9, both IAS sides with sequential ablation in 13, and both IAS sides with bipolar ablation in 3). After median follow-up of 15 (6-52) months, 17 patients (59%) remained free from recurrent arrhythmias.

Conclusion: IAS-ATs are rare and typically occur in patients with evidence of IAS substrate abnormalities and prior cardiac surgery. Catheter ablation can be challenging and may require sequential unipolar ablation or bipolar ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2021.04.036DOI Listing
May 2021

Periprocedural Acute Kidney Injury in Patients With Structural Heart Disease Undergoing Catheter Ablation of VT.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 02 28;7(2):174-186. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

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

Objectives: This study sought to examine the impact of periprocedural acute kidney injury (AKI) in scar-related ventricular tachycardia (VT) patients undergoing radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) on short- and long-term outcomes.

Background: The clinical significance of periprocedural AKI in patients with scar-related VT undergoing RFCA has not been previously investigated.

Methods: This study included 317 consecutive patients with scar-related VT undergoing RFCA (age: 64 ± 13 years, mean left ventricular ejection fraction: 33 ± 13%, 55% ischemic cardiomyopathy). Periprocedural AKI was defined as an absolute increase in creatinine of ≥0.3 mg/dl over 48 h or an increase of >1.5× the baseline values within 1 week post-procedure.

Results: Periprocedural AKI occurred in 31 patients (10%). Independent predictors of AKI included chronic kidney disease (odds ratio [OR]: 3.43; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.48 to 7.96; p = 0.004), atrial fibrillation (OR: 2.42; 95% CI: 1.01 to 5.78; p = 0.047), and peri-procedural acute hemodynamic decompensation (OR: 3.98; 95% CI: 1.17 to 13.52; p = 0.003). After a median follow-up of 39 months (interquartile range: 6 to 65 months), 95 patients (30%) died. Periprocedural AKI was associated with increased risk of early mortality (within 30 days; hazard ratio [HR]: 9.91; 95% CI: 2.87 to 34.22; p < 0.001) and late mortality (within 1 year) (HR: 4.57; 95% CI: 2.08 to 10.05; p < 0.001). After multivariable adjustment, AKI remained independently associated with increased risk of early and late mortality (HR: 4.49; 95% CI: 1.1 to 18.36; p = 0.04, and HR: 3.28; 95% CI: 1.43 to 7.49; p = 0.005, respectively).

Conclusions: Periprocedural AKI occurs in 10% of patients undergoing RFCA of scar-related VT and is strongly associated with increased risk of early and late post-procedural mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.08.018DOI Listing
February 2021

Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients With Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices With Abandoned Leads.

JAMA Cardiol 2021 May;6(5):549-556

Department of Radiology, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Importance: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the modality of choice for many conditions. Conditional devices and novel protocols for imaging patients with legacy cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) have increased access to MRI in patients with devices. However, the presence of abandoned leads remains an absolute contraindication.

Objective: To assess if the performance of an MRI in the presence of an abandoned CIED lead is safe and whether there are deleterious effects on concomitant active CIED leads.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study included consecutive CIED recipients undergoing 1.5-T MRI with at least 1 abandoned lead between January 2013 and June 2020. MRI scans were performed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. No patients were excluded.

Exposures: CIEDs were reprogrammed based on patient-specific pacing needs. Electrocardiography telemetry and pulse oximetry were monitored continuously, and live contact with the patient throughout the scan via visual and voice contact was performed if possible. After completion of the MRI, CIED evaluation was repeated and programming returned to baseline or to a clinically appropriate setting.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Variation in pre- and post-MRI capture threshold of 50% or more, ventricular sensing 40% or more, and lead impedance 30% or more, as well as clinical sequelae such as pain and sustained tachyarrhythmia were considered significant. Long-term follow-up lead-related data were analyzed if available.

Results: A total of 139 consecutive patients (110 men [79%]) with a mean (SD) age of 65.6 (13.4) years underwent 200 MRIs of various anatomic regions including the thorax. Repeat examinations were common with a maximum of 16 examinations for 1 patient. There was a total of 243 abandoned leads with a mean (SD) of 1.22 (0.45) per patient. The mean (SD) number of active leads was 2.04 (0.78) and 64 patients (46%) were pacemaker dependent. A transmit-receive radiofrequency coil was used in 41 patients (20.5%), all undergoing MRI of the brain. There were no abnormal vital signs or sustained tachyarrhythmias. No changes in battery voltage, power-on reset events, or changes of pacing rate were noted. CIED parameter changes including decreased right atrial sensing in 4 patients and decreased left ventricular R-wave amplitude in 1 patient were transiently noted. One patient with an abandoned subcutaneous array experienced sternal heating that subsided on premature cessation of the study.

Conclusions And Relevance: The risk of MRI in patients with abandoned CIED leads was low in this large observational study, including patients who underwent examination of the thorax. The growing aggregate of data questions the absolute contraindication for MRI in patients with abandoned CIED leads.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2020.7572DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7890450PMC
May 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

Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia Ablation with a Power-controlled, Contact-force Catheter.

J Innov Card Rhythm Manag 2020 Nov 15;11(11):4297-4300. Epub 2020 Nov 15.

Department of Cardiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Radiofrequency catheter ablation is a safe and effective treatment option for atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT). A nonirrigated ablation catheter used in a temperature-controlled mode is traditionally used for AVNRT ablation due to the shallow lesion depth required for successful slow-pathway ablation. In this case, a nonirrigated ablation catheter established inadequate lesions to ablate the slow pathway successfully. The adoption of an irrigated contact-force ablation catheter used in a power-controlled mode was necessary to provide higher power and possibly create a deeper lesion to ablate the slow pathway successfully, thus eliminating AVNRT inducibility in this patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19102/icrm.2020.111103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7685312PMC
November 2020

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

Extremely rapid pacing above the upper rate limit: What is the mechanism?

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2020 12 12;43(12):1575-1578. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Cardiology, Electrophysiology Section, Temple University Health System, Philadelphia, PA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pace.14109DOI Listing
December 2020

Ablation of Ventricular Arrhythmias From the Left Ventricular Apex in Patients Without Ischemic Heart Disease.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 09 27;6(9):1089-1102. Epub 2020 May 27.

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

Objectives: This study aimed to characterize the incidence, clinical characteristics, and electrocardiographic and electrophysiologic features of LVA VA in the absence of CAD and to describe the experience with catheter ablation (CA) in this group.

Background: The left ventricular apex (LVA) is a well-described source of ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and history of apical infarction but is a rare source of VA in the absence of CAD.

Methods: Patients referred for CA of VA at our institution were retrospectively reviewed, and those with LVA VA in the absence of CAD were identified.

Results: Of 3,710 consecutive patients undergoing VA ablation, CA of LVA VA was performed in 24 patients (20 with monomorphic ventricular tachycardia, 4 with premature ventricular contractions or nonsustained ventricular tachycardia; 18 men; mean age: 54 ± 15 years). These cases comprised 10 of 35 (29%) hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 9 of 789 (1.2%) nonischemic cardiomyopathy, and 5 of 1,432 (0.4%) idiopathic VA ablation procedures. VA QRS morphology was predominantly right bundle with slurred upstroke and right superior frontal plane axis with precordial transition ≤V3. Epicardial ablation was performed in 14 of 24 (58%). After a median of 1 procedure (range 1 to 4) at this institution and median follow-up of 47 months (range 0-176), VA recurred in 1 patient (4%).

Conclusions: LVA VA in the absence of CAD is unusual and may occur in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or nonischemic cardiomyopathy or, rarely, in the absence of structural heart disease. It can be recognized by characteristic ECG features. CA of LVA VA is challenging; multiple procedures, including epicardial approaches, may be required to achieve VA control over long-term follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.04.021DOI Listing
September 2020

COVID-19 and cardiac arrhythmias.

Heart Rhythm 2020 Sep 22;17(9):1439-1444. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Background: Early studies suggest that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with a high incidence of cardiac arrhythmias. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection may cause injury to cardiac myocytes and increase arrhythmia risk.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of cardiac arrest and arrhythmias including incident atrial fibrillation (AF), bradyarrhythmias, and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT) in a large urban population hospitalized for COVID-19. We also evaluated correlations between the presence of these arrhythmias and mortality.

Methods: We reviewed the characteristics of all patients with COVID-19 admitted to our center over a 9-week period. Throughout hospitalization, we evaluated the incidence of cardiac arrests, arrhythmias, and inpatient mortality. We also used logistic regression to evaluate age, sex, race, body mass index, prevalent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and intensive care unit (ICU) status as potential risk factors for each arrhythmia.

Results: Among 700 patients (mean age 50 ± 18 years; 45% men; 71% African American; 11% received ICU care), there were 9 cardiac arrests, 25 incident AF events, 9 clinically significant bradyarrhythmias, and 10 NSVTs. All cardiac arrests occurred in patients admitted to the ICU. In addition, admission to the ICU was associated with incident AF (odds ratio [OR] 4.68; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.66-13.18) and NSVT (OR 8.92; 95% CI 1.73-46.06) after multivariable adjustment. Also, age and incident AF (OR 1.05; 95% CI 1.02-1.09) and prevalent heart failure and bradyarrhythmias (OR 9.75; 95% CI 1.95-48.65) were independently associated. Only cardiac arrests were associated with acute in-hospital mortality.

Conclusion: Cardiac arrests and arrhythmias are likely the consequence of systemic illness and not solely the direct effects of COVID-19 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.06.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7307518PMC
September 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

Durability of posterior wall isolation after catheter ablation among patients with recurrent atrial fibrillation.

Heart Rhythm 2020 10 7;17(10):1740-1744. Epub 2020 May 7.

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

Background: Electrical posterior wall isolation (PWI) is increasingly being used for the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Few data exist on the durability of PWI using current technology.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize the frequency and location of posterior wall reconnection at the time of repeat catheter ablation for AF.

Methods: We performed a single-center retrospective cohort study of 50 patients undergoing repeat AF ablation after previous PWI. Durability of PWI was assessed at the time of repeat ablation based on posterior wall entrance and exit block. Sites of posterior wall reconnection were characterized based on review of recorded electrical signals and electroanatomic maps.

Results: At the time of repeat ablation, mean age was 67 ± 10 years, 31 of 50 patients had persistent AF, and mean CHADS-VASc score was 3.0 ± 1.8. Of the 50 patients, 30 had durable PWI at repeat ablation, 1.4 ± 1.6 years after the index procedure. Patients with posterior wall reconnection required repeat ablation earlier (0.9 ± 0.6 years vs1.8 ± 1.9 years from index PWI; P = .048) and were more likely to have atypical atrial flutter (55% vs 27%; P = .043). Among patients with posterior wall reconnection, the roof was the most common site of reconnection (14/20), and 12 patients had multiple regions of reconnection noted.

Conclusion: Posterior wall reconnection is noted in 40% of patients undergoing repeat ablation after an index PWI. The roof of the left atrium is the most common site of posterior wall reconnection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.05.005DOI Listing
October 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

Impact of a nurse-led limited risk factor modification program on arrhythmia outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing catheter ablation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 02 15;31(2):423-431. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of a nurse-led risk factor modification (RFM) program for improving weight loss and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) care among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Objective: We now report its impact on arrhythmia outcomes in a subgroup of patients undergoing catheter ablation.

Methods: Participating patients with obesity and/or need for OSA management (high risk per Berlin Questionnaire or untreated OSA) underwent in-person consultation and monthly telephone calls with the nurse for up to 1 year. Arrhythmias were assessed by office ECGs and ≥2 wearable monitors. Outcomes, defined as Arrhythmia control (0-6 self-terminating recurrences, with ≤1 cardioversion for nonparoxysmal AF) and Freedom from arrhythmias (no recurrences on or off antiarrhythmic drugs), were compared at 1 year between patients undergoing catheter ablation who enrolled and declined RFM.

Results: Between 1 November 2016 and 1 April 2018, 195 patients enrolled and 196 declined RFM (body mass index, 35.1 ± 6.7 vs 34.3 ± 6.3 kg/m ; 50% vs 50% paroxysmal AF; P = NS). At 1 year, enrolled patients demonstrated significant weight loss (4.7% ± 5.3% vs 0.3% ± 4.4% in declined patients; P < .0001) and improved OSA care (78% [n = 43] of patients diagnosed with OSA began treatment). However, outcomes were similar between enrolled and declined patients undergoing ablation (arrhythmia control in 80% [n = 48] vs 79% [n = 38]; freedom from arrhythmia in 58% [n = 35] vs 71% [n = 34]; P = NS).

Conclusion: Despite improving weight loss and OSA care, our nurse-led RFM program did not impact 1-year arrhythmia outcomes in patients with AF undergoing catheter ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14336DOI Listing
February 2020

Catheter ablation of premature ventricular complexes with low intraprocedural burden guided exclusively by pace-mapping.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 11 29;30(11):2326-2333. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, From the Electrophysiology Section, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Catheter ablation (CA) of idiopathic premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) is typically guided by both activation and pace-mapping, with ablation ideally delivered at the site of the earliest local activation. However, activation mapping requires sufficient intraprocedural quantity of PVCs. This study aimed to investigate the outcome of CA of infrequent PVCs guided exclusively by pace-mapping.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all patients undergoing CA of idiopathic PVCs between 2014 and 2017.

Results: Among 327 patients, 24 (7.3%) had low intraprocedural PVC burden despite isoproterenol, including two patients with zero PVCs, rendering activation mapping impractical/impossible. All 24 had a history of symptomatic PVCs. During ablation, a median of 27 (17-55) pace-maps were performed, with best median PASO score of 97 (96-98)%. A median of 12 (8.75-18.75) radiofrequency (RF) lesions were delivered with 11.4 (8.5-17.6) minutes of total RF time. Clinical success, defined as more than 80% reduction in the burden of previously frequent PVCs and/or absence of symptoms as well as any documented clinical PVCs among those with infrequent or exercise-induced PVCs, was achieved in 19 (79%) patients over 9.2 (2.0-15.0) months of follow-up.

Conclusions: When activation mapping cannot be performed due to inadequate intraprocedural PVC burden, detailed pace-mapping can frequently identify the precise arrhythmia site of origin, thereby guiding successful CA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14127DOI Listing
November 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feasibility of complex transfemoral electrophysiology procedures in patients with inferior vena cava filters.

Heart Rhythm 2019 06 24;16(6):873-878. Epub 2018 Dec 24.

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

Background: The presence of inferior vena cava filters (IVCFs) has been considered a relative contraindication to electrophysiology (EP) procedures that require transfemoral venous placement of multiple catheters and/or long sheaths. There are inadequate data related to complex EP procedures in this population.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of a single high-volume center with respect to complex EP procedures in patients with IVCFs.

Methods: Patients with IVCFs undergoing complex EP procedures between 2004 and 2018 were identified. Clinical characteristics, IVCF type, procedural findings, and complications were analyzed.

Results: Fifty complex ablation procedures were performed in 40 patients (mean age 63.8 ± 10.9 years; 68% men). The mean IVCF dwell time was 69.1 ± 19.1 months, and 48 patients (96%) were on chronic oral anticoagulation. Procedures included ablation of atrial fibrillation (n = 21), ventricular tachycardia (n = 20), supraventricular tachycardia (n = 3), cavotricuspid isthmus flutter (n = 3), supraventricular tachycardia and cavotricuspid isthmus flutter (n = 1), and transvenous lead extraction (n = 3). Twenty procedures included quadripolar catheters (mean 1.4 ± 0.75), and 33 procedures involved deflectable decapolar catheters (mean 1.7 ± 0.47). Long sheaths were used in 35 cases (mean 1.63 ± 0.49) and intracardiac echocardiography in 38. In 4 cases (involving 3 patients), the IVCF was occluded and could not be crossed. There were no procedural complications related to the IVCF.

Conclusion: The substantial majority of IVCFs in patients presenting for complex EP procedures were patent and easily crossed under fluoroscopic guidance. The presence of an IVCF should not discourage operators from performing procedures that require transfemoral deployment of multiple catheters and/or sheaths.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2018.12.022DOI Listing
June 2019

A Nurse-Led Limited Risk Factor Modification Program to Address Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Atrial Fibrillation Patients.

J Am Heart Assoc 2018 12;7(23):e010414

1 Division of Cardiovascular Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA.

Background Obesity and obstructive sleep apnea ( OSA ) are associated with atrial fibrillation ( AF ), yet these conditions remain inadequately treated. We report on the feasibility and efficacy of a nurse-led risk factor modification program utilizing a pragmatic approach to address obesity and OSA in AF patients. Methods and Results AF patients with obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m) and/or the need for OSA management (high risk per Berlin Questionnaire or untreated OSA ) were voluntarily enrolled for risk factor modification, which comprised patient education, lifestyle modification, coordination with specialists, and longitudinal management. Weight loss and OSA treatment were monitored by monthly follow-up calls and/or continuous positive airway pressure ( CPAP ) unit downloads. Quality of life and arrhythmia symptoms were assessed with the SF -36 and AF Severity Scale at baseline and at 6 months. From November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017, 252 patients (age 63±11 years; 71% male; 57% paroxysmal AF ) were enrolled, 189 for obesity and 93 for OSA . Obese patients who enrolled lost significantly greater percent body weight than those who declined (3% versus 0.3%; P<0.05). Among 93 patients enrolled for OSA , 70 completed sleep studies, OSA was confirmed in 50, and the majority (76%) started CPAP therapy. All components of quality of life and arrhythmia symptoms improved significantly from baseline to 6 months among enrolled patients. Conclusions A nurse-led risk factor modification program is a potentially sustainable and generalizable model that can improve weight loss and OSA in AF patients, translating into improved quality of life and arrhythmia symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.118.010414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405543PMC
December 2018

Anatomical proximity dictates successful ablation from adjacent sites for outflow tract ventricular arrhythmias linked to the coronary venous system.

Europace 2019 Mar;21(3):484-491

Cardiac Electrophysiology Section, Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, 9 Founders Pavilion - Cardiology, 3400 Spruce St. Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Aims: Catheter ablation of outflow tract ventricular arrhythmias (OTVAs) with the earliest activation within the coronary venous system (CVS) can be challenging. When ablation from the CVS is not feasible or ineffective, an approach from anatomically adjacent site(s) can be considered. We report the outcomes of an anatomical approach for OTVAs linked to the CVS.

Methods And Results: We retrospectively analysed 665 OTVA patients. Of these, 65 (9.8%) had the earliest activation within the CVS. In 53 (82%) cases, an anatomical approach was attempted. The targeted adjacent anatomical structure was the endocardial left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) in 24 (45%), the left coronary cusp or the left/right cusp junction in 17 (32%) patients, and the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) in 12 (23%). The anatomical approach was successful in 26 (49%) patients (27% from the coronary cusps, 65% from the LVOT, and 8% from the RVOT). The difference in activation times between the earliest activation site within the CVS and the targeted site was not significantly different between the successful and unsuccessful groups (14.2 ± 11.2 ms vs. 13.2 ± 9.3 ms; P = 0.89). The anatomical distance from the earliest activation site to the targeted site was shorter for the successful group (9.7 ± 2.4 mm vs. 13.1 ± 6.5 mm; P < 0.05). In particular, when the anatomical distance was >12.8 mm, anatomical approach was successful in only 1/13 (8%).

Conclusion: In patients with OTVAs linked to the CVS, an anatomical approach targeting an adjacent site can be effective, particularly when the distance between the sites is <12.8 mm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euy255DOI Listing
March 2019

Importance of the Interventricular Septum as Part of the Ventricular Tachycardia Substrate in Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2018 09 27;4(9):1155-1162. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

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

Objectives: This study sought to characterize septal substrate in patients with nonischemic left ventricular cardiomyopathy (NILVCM) undergoing ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation.

Background: The interventricular septum is an important site of VT substrate in NILVCM.

Methods: The authors studied 95 patients with NILVCM and VT. Electroanatomic mapping using standard bipolar (<1.5 mV) and unipolar (<8.3 mV) low-voltage criteria identified septal scar location and size. Analysis of unipolar voltage was performed and scars quantified using graded unipolar cutoffs from 4 to 8.3 mV were correlated with delayed gadolinium-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance (DE-CMR), performed in 57 patients.

Results: Detailed LV endocardial mapping (mean 262 ± 138 points) showed septal bipolar and unipolar voltage abnormalities (VAs) in 44 (46%) and 79 (83%) patients, most commonly with basal anteroseptal involvement. Of the 59 patients in whom the septum was targeted, bipolar and unipolar septal VAs were seen in 36 (61%) and 54 (92%). Of the 35 with CMR-defined septal scar, bipolar and unipolar septal VAs were seen in 18 (51%) and 31 (89%). In 12 patients without CMR septal scar, 6 (50%) had isolated unipolar septal VAs on electroanatomic mapping, a subset of whom the septum was targeted for ablation (44%). In the graded unipolar analysis, the optimal cutoff associated with magnetic resonance imaging septal scar was 4.8 mV (sensitivity 75%, specificity 70%; area under the curve: 0.75; 95% confidence interval: 0.60 to 0.90).

Conclusions: Septal substrate by unipolar or bipolar voltage mapping in patients with NILVCM and VT is common. A unipolar voltage cutoff of 4.8 mV provides the best correlation with DE-CMR. A subset of patients with septal VT had normal DE-CMR or endocardial bipolar voltage with abnormal unipolar voltage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2018.04.016DOI Listing
September 2018

Long-Term Outcome of Catheter Ablation for Treatment of Bundle Branch Re-Entrant Tachycardia.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2018 03 19;4(3):331-338. Epub 2018 Mar 19.

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

Objectives: This study reports the long-term outcome of patients with bundle branch re-entrant tachycardia (BBRT) who underwent catheter ablation for ventricular tachycardia (VT).

Background: BBRT is an uncommon mechanism of VT. Data on long-term outcomes of patients with BBRT treated with catheter ablation are insufficient.

Methods: Between 2005 and 2016, 32 patients had a sustained VT due to a bundle branch re-entrant mechanism. Diagnosis of BBRT was established per standard published criteria.

Results: The mode of presentation was syncope in 17 patients (53%) and palpitations in 15 (47%). BBRT was inducible in all subjects, and successful ablation of the right bundle branch in 19 patients (59%) or the left bundle branch in 13 patients (41%) was performed. During follow-up of 95 ± 36 months, 6 patients (19%) died, 3 of progressive heart failure and 3 of noncardiac causes. Recurrent VT due to BBRT did not occur in any patient. At baseline, 25 patients (78%) had a prolonged HV interval (>55 ms) and 7 (22%) had a normal HV interval (≤55 ms). In patients with a normal HV interval, there was only 1 death (due to malignancy), and no one developed heart block during 90 ± 36 months of follow-up. Ten patients (31%) had normal left ventricular (LV) function (LV ejection fraction ≥50%), and 22 (69%) had depressed LV function (LV ejection fraction <50%). No deaths were recorded in patients with normal LV function (5 with no implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) compared with 6 deaths among patients with depressed LV function (n = 22; p = 0.07).

Conclusions: Radiofrequency ablation of the bundle branch is an effective therapy for treatment of BBRT. Sustained BBRT can be seen in patients with normal LV systolic function and HV interval with excellent long-term outcomes after ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2017.11.021DOI Listing
March 2018

Long-Term Outcomes of Catheter Ablation of Electrical Storm in Nonischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy Compared With Ischemic Cardiomyopathy.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2017 07 26;3(7):767-778. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

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

Objectives: The goal of this study was to determine the long-term outcomes of catheter ablation (CA) of electrical storm in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDCM) compared with patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM).

Background: CA of ventricular tachycardia (VT) electrical storm has been shown to improve VT-free survival in patients with ICM. Data on the outcomes of CA of electrical storm in patients with NIDCM are insufficient.

Methods: The study included 267 consecutive patients with NIDCM (n = 71; ejection fraction 32 ± 14%) and ICM (n = 196; ejection fraction 28 ± 12%). Endo-epicardial CA was performed in 59 (22%) patients. CA was guided by activation and entrainment mapping for tolerated VT and pacemapping/targeting of abnormal substrate for unmappable VT.

Results: After a median follow-up of 45 (25th to 75th percentile: 9 to 71) months and 1 (25th to 75th percentile: 1 to 8) procedures, 76 (29%) patients died, 25 (9%) underwent heart transplantation, 87 (33%) experienced VT recurrence, and 13 (5%) had recurrence of electrical storm. Overall VT-free survival was 54% at 60 months (48% in NIDCM and 54% in ICM; p = 0.128). Patients with VT recurrence experienced a median of 2 (1 to 10) VT episodes in the 5 (1 to 14) months after the procedure. Death/transplantation-free survival was 62% at 60 months (53% in NIDCM and 64% in ICM; p = 0.067). Persistent inducibility of any VT with cycle length ≥250 ms at programmed stimulation at the end of the procedure was the only independent predictor of VT recurrence. Low ejection fraction, New York Heart Association functional class, and VT recurrence over follow-up independently predicted death/transplantation.

Conclusions: CA of electrical storm was similarly effective in patients with NIDCM compared with patients with ICM, with elimination of electrical storm in 95% of cases and achievement of complete VT control at long-term follow-up in most patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2017.01.020DOI Listing
July 2017

Anticoagulation use and clinical outcomes after catheter ablation in patients with persistent and longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2018 06 30;29(6):823-832. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

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

Introduction: Whether successful catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) reduces risk of cerebrovascular events (CVEs) remains controversial and whether oral anticoagulation therapy (OAT) can be safely discontinued in patients rendered free of AF recurrences remains unknown. We evaluated OAT use patterns and examined long-term rates of CVEs (stroke/TIA) and major bleeding episodes (MBEs) in patients with nonparoxysmal AF treated with catheter ablation.

Methods And Results: Four hundred patients with nonparoxysmal AF (200 persistent, 200 longstanding persistent; mean age 60.3 ± 9.7 years, 82% male) undergoing first AF ablation were followed for 3.6 ± 2.4 years. OAT discontinuation during follow-up was permitted in selected patients per physician discretion. At last follow-up, allowing for multiple ablations, 172 (43.0%) patients were free of AF recurrence. Two hundred and seven (51.8%) discontinued OAT at some point; 174 (43.5%) were off OAT at last follow-up. Patients without AF recurrence were more likely to remain off OAT (HR 0.23 [95% CI 0.17-0.33]). Patients with persistent (versus longstanding persistent) AF type prior to ablation (HR 0.6 [CI 0.44-0.83]) and those with CHA DS -VASc score <2 (HR 0.56 [0.39-0.80]) were less likely to continue OAT. Seven patients had CVEs (incidence: 0.49/100 patient years) and 14 experienced MBE during follow-up (incidence: 0.98/100 patient years). Older age (P  =  0.001) and coronary artery disease (P  =  0.028) were associated with CVE.

Conclusion: Anticoagulation discontinuation in well selected, closely monitored patients following successful ablation of nonparoxysmal AF was associated with a low rate of clinical embolic CVEs. Prospective studies are required to confirm safety of OAT discontinuation after successful AF ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.13476DOI Listing
June 2018

Focal Atrial Fibrillation from the Superior Vena Cava.

J Atr Fibrillation 2017 Apr-May;9(6):1593. Epub 2017 Apr 30.

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

We report the case of a 66 year-old male who underwent catheter ablation for drug-refractory paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) at our institution. Radiofrequency catheter ablation was performed using a three-dimensional electroanatomical mapping system. During ablation of the pulmonary veins (PV), right atrial ectopics were noted to repeatedly trigger AF and atrial tachycardia (AT). After PV isolation, mapping of the right atrium revealed that the superior vena cava (SVC) was in AF, while both atria were in an organized AT. Segmental ablation was performed around the SVC ostium, resulting in vein isolation and immediate restoration of sinus rhythm, while the SVC remained in AF. This case highlights the importance of the SVC in some AF patients as a potential source for non-PV triggers. SVC isolation can be safely achieved in most cases to improve outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4022/jafib.1593DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5673346PMC
April 2017

Imaging characteristics of papillary muscle site of origin of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with mitral valve prolapse.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2018 01 17;29(1):146-153. Epub 2017 Nov 17.

Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Background: Mitral valve prolapse has been associated with increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias. We aimed to examine whether certain cardiac imaging characteristics are associated with papillary muscle origin of ventricular arrhythmias in these patients.

Methods And Results: We screened electronic medical records of all patients documented to have mitral valve prolapse on either transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) in our center, who also underwent an electrophysiologic study (EPS) between 2007 and 2016. Anterior and posterior mitral leaflet thickness and prolapsed distance were measured on TTE and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) was assessed on CMR. Patients were categorized as papillary muscle positive (pap (+)) or negative (pap (-)) using EPS. Eighteen patients were included in this study. Of the 15 patients who underwent TTE, a significantly higher proportion of patients in the pap (+) group had an anterior to posterior leaflet prolapse ratio of >0.45 indicating more symmetric leaflet prolapse. There were no differences in anterior or posterior leaflet thickness or prolapse distance between the groups. Patients in the pap (+) group were more likely to be women. Of the 7 patients who underwent CMR, those who were pap (+) were more likely to have LGE in the region of the papillary muscles than those who were pap (-).

Conclusion: Female gender, more symmetric bileaflet prolapse on TTE, and the presence of papillary muscle LGE on CMR may be associated with papillary muscle origin of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with mitral valve prolapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.13374DOI Listing
January 2018

Lack of prognostic value of atrial arrhythmia inducibility and change in inducibility status after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation.

Heart Rhythm 2018 05 19;15(5):660-665. Epub 2017 Oct 19.

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

Background: Previous studies have suggested a role of atrial arrhythmia inducibility as an endpoint of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). The prognostic value of noninducibility after ablation and of a change in inducibility status has not been investigated in large studies.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic role of noninducibility and of a change in inducibility status after ablation of AF.

Methods: We studied 305 consecutive patients with AF (66% paroxysmal) undergoing antral pulmonary vein (PV) isolation plus non-PV triggers ablation. All patients underwent a standardized induction protocol before and after ablation from the coronary sinus and right atrium: 15-beat burst pacing at 250 ms and decrementing to 180 ms (up to 20 μg/min isoproterenol). Inducibility was defined as any sustained AF or organized atrial tachycardia (AT) lasting >2 minutes.

Results: A total of 197 patients (65%) had inducible AF/AT at baseline compared to 118 (39%) after ablation. One hundred seven patients (57%) changed their inducibility status from inducible preablation to noninducible postablation. After 19 ± 7 months of follow-up, 212 patients (70%) remained free from any recurrent AF/AT. Noninducibility of AF/AT postablation (log-rank P = .236) or change in inducibility status (log-rank P = .429) was not associated with reduced risk of recurrent AF/AT. Results were consistent across the paroxysmal and nonparoxysmal subgroups.

Conclusion: Noninducibility of atrial arrhythmia or change in inducibility status after PV isolation and non-PV trigger ablation is not associated with long-term freedom from recurrent arrhythmia and should not be used as an ablation endpoint or to support the appropriateness of additional ablation lesion sets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2017.10.023DOI Listing
May 2018