Publications by authors named "Pasquale Santangeli"

367 Publications

Radiofrequency Ablation Strategies for Intramural Ventricular Arrhythmias.

Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J 2021 Apr 25;17(1):8-12. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Catheter ablation is an established treatment strategy for ventricular arrhythmias. However, the presence of intramural substrate poses challenges with mapping and delivery of radiofrequency energy, limiting overall success of catheter ablation. Advances over the past decade have improved our understanding of intramural substrate and paved the way for innovative treatment approaches. Modifications in catheter ablation techniques and development of novel ablation technologies have led to improved clinical outcomes for patients with ventricular arrhythmias. In this review, we explore mapping techniques to identify intramural substrate and describe available radiofrequency energy delivery techniques that can improve overall success rates of catheter ablation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14797/PEYF3776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8158442PMC
April 2021

Catheter Ablation for Brugada Syndrome.

J Innov Card Rhythm Manag 2021 May 15;12(5):4520-4524. Epub 2021 May 15.

Cardiac Arrhythmia Unit, Heart Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

We report a case of catheter ablation of Brugada syndrome in a patient with refractory ventricular fibrillation despite quinidine therapy. We performed epicardial substrate mapping, which identified an area of abnormal fractionated, prolonged electrogram in the anterior right ventricular outflow tract. Warm saline infusion into the pericardial space induced further delay of the local electrogram, consistent with Brugada syndrome physiology. Coronary angiography confirmed that the area was distant from major coronary arteries. Ablation was performed in this area, which eliminated local abnormal electrograms and led to the disappearance of coved-type ST elevation in V1-V2. No ventricular fibrillation had recurred by five months of follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.19102/icrm.2021.120502DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8139310PMC
May 2021

Mitral valve regurgitation after papillary muscle ablation: A nonissue?

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 May 16. Epub 2021 May 16.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.15103DOI Listing
May 2021

Esophageal luminal temperature rise during atrial fibrillation ablation is associated with lower radiofrequency electrode distance and baseline impedance.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 May 16. Epub 2021 May 16.

Cardiovascular Medicine Division, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Introduction: Esophageal injury during atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation is a life-threatening complication. We sought to measure the association of esophageal temperature attenuation with radiofrequency (RF) electrode impedance, contact force, and distance from the esophagus.

Methods: The retrospective study cohort included 35 patients with mean age 64 ± 10 years, of whom 74.3% were male, and 40% had persistent AF. All patients had undergone preprocedural cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) followed by AF ablation with luminal esophageal temperature monitoring. Lesion locations were co-registered with CMR image segmentations of left atrial and esophageal anatomy. Luminal esophageal temperature, time matched RF lesion data, and ablation distance from the nearest esophageal location were collected as panel data.

Results: Luminal esophageal temperature changes corresponding to 3667 distinct lesions, delivered with mean power 27.9 ± 5.5 W over a mean duration of 22.2 ± 10.5 s were analyzed. In multivariable analyses, clustered per patient, examining posterior wall lesions only, and adjusted for lesion power and duration as set by the operator, lesion distance from the esophagus (-0.003°C/mm, p < .001), and baseline impedance (-0.015°C/Ω, p < .001) were associated with changes in luminal esophageal temperature.

Conclusion: Esophageal luminal temperature rises are associated with shorter lesion distance from esophagus and lower baseline impedance during RF lesion delivery. When procedural strategy requires RF delivery near the esophagus, selection of sites with higher baseline impedance may improve safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.15097DOI Listing
May 2021

Preface.

Card Electrophysiol Clin 2021 Jun;13(2):xv

Cardiac Electrophysiology, Fundacion CardioInfantil, Calle 163A # 13B-60, Bogota, Colombia. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccep.2021.04.002DOI Listing
June 2021

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

Why does catheter ablation of premature ventricular contractions in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy fail?

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 Jun 14;32(6):1675-1677. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.15022DOI Listing
June 2021

Procainamide for the Rapid Suppression of Premature Ventricular Contractions: An (Almost) Forgotten Tool in the Cardiologist's Armamentarium.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Feb 20;11(2). Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Cardiac Imaging Unit, NorthWest Heart Centre, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester M23 9LT, UK.

In the last few years, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging has progressively acquired a central role in the diagnosis and management of patients with ventricular arrhythmias (VA) [...].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020357DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924344PMC
February 2021

Improved Procedural Efficiency of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Using a Dedicated Ablation Protocol and Lean Management.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 03 25;7(3):321-332. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Cardiology Department, Ordensklinikum Linz Elisabethinen, Linz, Austria.

Objectives: In this study the authors hypothesized that "Lean management" within a dedicated ablation protocol could standardize the pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) procedure and improve quality.

Background: There is a large variability in safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of PVI.

Methods: This was a single-center prospective study with inclusion of all consecutive PVI procedures from 2017 to 2019. A 3-step intervention was introduced based on Lean management: step 1) simplification (CLOSE protocol); step 2) waste elimination (higher power shorter duration); and step 3) improved standardization (Lab Optimization Tool [LOT]). PVI was divided into steps that were tracked (in minutes) using LOT. Parameters were compared in 6-month intervals.

Results: Overall, 295 patients (146 patients with LOT) were analyzed. Step 1 reduced skin-to-skin procedure duration (2017: 119 ± 21 min vs. 2018: 77 ± 15 min; p < 0.001) and variance (from 2018 to 2019 p = 0.024). Step 2 reduced the radiofrequency time (2017: 38 ± 6 min vs. 2018: 20 ± 3 min; p < 0.001) and variance (from 2018 to 2019 p < 0.001). Analysis of step 3 demonstrated that only 53% of the entire procedure length (143 ± 22 min) was used for treatment (skin-to-skin time 77 ± 16 min), the remaining time being devoted for setup (42 ± 12 min, 29%); left atrial access (16 ± 7 min, 12%); respiratory gating, left atrial map, and pseudo-circle annotation (10 ± 6 min, 7%); ablation (39 ± 10 min, 27%); and bilateral block validation (10 ± 8 min, 7%).

Conclusions: Standardization of PVI using a dedicated ablation protocol and Lean management can help to reduce procedure and radiofrequency ablation duration and variance, and increase procedural efficiency without compromising safety. To improve health care utilization, increased efficiency should become an accepted goal in addition to procedural safety and effectiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.08.023DOI Listing
March 2021

Active esophageal cooling for the prevention of thermal injury during atrial fibrillation ablation: a randomized controlled pilot study.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol 2021 Feb 23. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

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

Background: Severe endoscopically detected esophageal thermal lesions (EDELs) have been associated with higher risk of progression to atrio-esophageal fistula (AEF) following radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) of atrial fibrillation (AF). We sought to evaluate safety and feasibility of active esophageal cooling using the Attune Medical Esophageal Heat Transfer Device (EnsoETM) to limit frequency or severity of EDELs.

Objective: We sought To evaluate safety and feasibility of active esophageal cooling using the Attune Medical Esophageal Heat Transfer Device (EnsoETM) to limit frequency or severity of EDELs METHODS: Consecutive patients undergoing first-time RFCA were randomized in a 1:1 fashion to esophageal cooling (device group) or standard temperature monitoring (control group). Ablation on the posterior wall was performed with a maximum power of 30W for up to 20s. All patients underwent EGD within 48 h. Endoscopy findings were classified as 1, erythema-mild injury; 2, superficial ulceration-moderate injury; 3, deep ulceration-significant injury; and 4, fistula/perforation. Severe EDELs were defined as grade 3 or 4 lesions.

Results: Forty-four patients completed the study (22 device group, 22 control group). Adjunctive posterior wall isolation was performed more frequently in the device group (11/22, 50% vs. 4/22, 18%). EDELs were detected in 5/22 (23%) control group patients, with mild or moderate injury in 2/5 patients (40%) and severe thermal injury in 3/5 patients (60%). In the device group, EDELs were detected in 8/22 (36%) patients, with mild or moderate injury in 7/8 (87%) patients and severe thermal injury in 1/8 (12%) patients. There was no acute perforation or AEF during follow-up.

Conclusions: Active esophageal cooling may reduce the occurrence of severe EDELs. A larger randomized study is warranted to further evaluate the benefit of this strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10840-021-00960-wDOI Listing
February 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

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

Arctic Front versus POLARx cryoballoon: Is there a winner?

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 Mar 10;32(3):595-596. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14926DOI Listing
March 2021

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

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 Jan 20. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions: In patients with NICM and no evidence of LGE undergoing catheter ablation of VT, DF estimated by using post-contrast T mapping correlates with the voltage abnormality at EAM and seems to affect post-ablation outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.10.002DOI Listing
January 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 Left Atrial Bipolar Electrogram Voltage on First Pass Pulmonary Vein Isolation During Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation.

Front Physiol 2020 15;11:594654. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

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

Background: First pass pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is associated with durable isolation and reduced recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF).

Objective: We sought to investigate the relationship between left atrial electrogram voltage using multielectrode fast automated mapping (ME-FAM) and first pass isolation with radiofrequency ablation.

Methods: We included consecutive patients (pts) undergoing first time ablation for paroxysmal AF (pAF), and compared the voltage characteristics between patients with and without first pass isolation. Left atrium (LA) adjacent to PVs was divided into 6 regions, and mean voltages obtained with ME-FAM (Pentaray, Biosense Webster) in each region and compared. LA electrograms with marked low voltage (<0.5 mV) were identified and the voltage characteristics at the site of difficult isolation was compared to the voltage in adjacent region.

Results: Twenty consecutive patients (10 with first pass and 10 without) with a mean age of 63.3 ± 6.2 years, 65% males, were studied. Difficult isolation occurred on the right PVs in eight pts and left PVs in three pts. The mean voltage in pts without first pass isolation was lower in all 6 regions; posterior wall (1.93 ± 1.46 versus 2.99 ± 2.19; < 0.001), roof (1.83 ± 2.29 versus 2.47 ± 1.99; < 0.001), LA-LPV posterior (1.85 ± 3.09 versus 2.99 ± 2.19, < 0.001), LA-LPV ridge (1.42 ± 1.04 versus 1.91 ± 1.61; < 0.001), LA-RPV posterior (1.51 ± 1.11 versus 2.30 ± 1.77, < 0.001) and LA-RPV septum (1.55 ± 1.23 versus 2.31 ± 1.40, < 0.001). Patients without first pass isolation also had a larger percentage of signal with an amplitude of <0.5 mV for each of the six regions (12.8% versus 7.5%). In addition, the mean voltage at the site of difficult isolation was lower at 8 out of 11 sites compared to mean voltage for remaining electrograms in that region.

Conclusion: In patients undergoing PVI for paroxysmal AF, failure in first pass isolation was associated with lower global LA voltage, more marked low amplitude signal (<0.5 mV) and lower local signal voltage at the site with difficult isolation. The results suggest that a greater degree of global and segmental fibrosis may play a role in ease of PV isolation with radiofrequency energy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.594654DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7769759PMC
December 2020

Continuous rhythm monitoring-guided anticoagulation after atrial fibrillation ablation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 Feb 9;32(2):345-353. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

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

Introduction: Oral anticoagulation (OAC) based on estimated stroke risk is recommended following catheter ablation (CA) of atrial fibrillation (AF), regardless of the extent of arrhythmia control. However, discontinuing OAC in selected patients may be safe. We sought to evaluate a strategy of OAC discontinuation following AF ablation guided by continuous rhythm monitoring.

Methods And Results: We prospectively studied AF ablations performed at our institution from June 2015 to December 2019. Patients that had pre-existing cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) or underwent insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) implantation immediately following AF ablation were included. OAC was continued for 6 weeks following CA in all patients, following which OAC management was guided by CHA DS -VASc score and continuous rhythm monitoring results, according to a prespecified protocol. AF recurrence was defined as ≥30 s (CIEDs) or ≥2 min (ICM). We studied 196 patients (mean age 64.7 ± 11.3 years, 66.8% male, 85.7% ICM, 14.3% CIEDs). Mean CHA DS VASc score was 2.2  ± 1.5. One-year AF-free survival following CA was 83% for paroxysmal AF and 63% for persistent AF patients. Over 3 year follow-up, OAC was discontinued in 57 (33.7%) patients, mean 7.4 ± 7.1 months following ablation. Following discontinuation, OAC was restarted for AF recurrence in 9 (15.8%) patients, mean 11.7 ± 6.8 months after stopping. This discontinuation protocol led to a 21.9% reduction in overall time exposed to OAC. There were no thromboembolic or major bleeding events.

Conclusion: OAC can be discontinued in a significant percentage of patients following CA of AF. When guided by continuous rhythm monitoring, this practice does not unacceptably increase the risk of thromboembolic events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14864DOI Listing
February 2021

Sight Is a Faculty, Seeing Is an Art: Rethinking Left Atrial Macro-Re-Entry in 3 Dimensions.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2020 12;6(14):1824-1826

Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2020.10.013DOI Listing
December 2020

Catheter ablation of ventricular tachycardia in patients with prior cardiac surgery: An analysis from the International VT Ablation Center Collaborative Group.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 Feb 24;32(2):409-416. Epub 2021 Jan 24.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Introduction: Patients with prior cardiac surgery may represent a subgroup of patients with ventricular tachycardia (VT) that may be more difficult to control with catheter ablation.

Methods: We evaluated 1901 patients with ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy who underwent VT ablation at 12 centers. Clinical characteristics and VT radiofrequency ablation procedural outcomes were assessed and compared between those with and without prior cardiac surgery. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate freedom from recurrent VT and survival.

Results: There were 578 subjects (30.4%) with prior cardiac surgery identified in the cohort. Those with prior cardiac surgery were older (66.4 ± 11.0 years vs. 60.5 ± 13.9 years, p < .01), with lower left ventricular ejection fraction (30.2 ± 11.5% vs. 34.8 ± 13.6%, p < .01) and more ischemic heart disease (82.5% vs. 39.3%, p < .01) but less likely to undergo epicardial mapping or ablation (9.0% vs. 38.1%, p<.01) compared to those without prior surgery. When epicardial mapping was performed, a significantly greater proportion required surgical intervention for access (19/52 [36.5%] vs. 14/504 [2.8%]; p < .01). Procedural complications, including epicardial access-related complications, were lower (5.7% vs. 7.0%, p < .01) in patients with versus without prior cardiac surgery. VT-free survival (75.1% vs. 74.1%, p = .805) and survival (86.5% vs. 87.9%, p = .397) were not different between those with and without prior heart surgery, regardless of etiology of cardiomyopathy. VT recurrence was associated with increased mortality in patients with and without prior cardiac surgery.

Conclusion: Despite different clinical characteristics and fewer epicardial procedures, the safety and efficacy of VT ablation in patients with prior cardiac surgery is similar to others in this cohort. The incremental yield of epicardial mapping in predominant ischemic cardiomyopathy population prior heart surgery may be low but appears safe in experienced centers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14849DOI Listing
February 2021

Prior myocarditis and ventricular arrhythmias: The importance of scar pattern.

Heart Rhythm 2021 Apr 24;18(4):589-596. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Centro Cardiologico Monzino, IRCCS, Milano, Italy; Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, Milano, Italy.

Background: Multiple studies have addressed the importance of anteroseptal scar in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy. However, this pattern has never been fully evaluated in patients with prior myocarditis.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether anteroseptal scar is associated with worse outcome in patients with prior myocarditis and how it affects the efficacy of catheter ablation (CA).

Methods: This was a retrospective study of consecutive patients with prior myocarditis and arrhythmic presentation. Cardiac magnetic resonance and electroanatomic voltage mapping were used to identify the scar pattern. Patients were referred for either CA or escalated antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) therapy. The main outcome was ventricular arrhythmia (VA)-free survival according to the presence of anteroseptal scar.

Results: A total of 144 consecutive patients with prior myocarditis were included. Mean age was 42.1 ± 14.9 years, and 58% were men. Ejection fraction was normal in 73% of patients. Anteroseptal scar was present in 44% of cases. Sixty-one patients (42%) underwent CA. Overall, at 2-year follow-up, VA-free survival was 77% in the CA group. After CA, the mean number of AADs taken by each patient decreased from 1.8 to 0.9 per day (p<0.001). The presence of anteroseptal scar was found to be an independent predictor of VA relapse both in patients treated with CA (hazard ratio [HR] 3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-11.4; P = .03) and in the overall population (HR 2.0; 95% CI 1.2-3.5; P = .02) .

Conclusion: In patients with prior myocarditis and VA, the presence of anteroseptal scar negatively predicts outcomes irrespective of treatment strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.12.016DOI Listing
April 2021

Spontaneous intramyocardial haemorrhage in a patient with wild-type transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis.

Eur Heart J 2020 Dec 21. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa1026DOI Listing
December 2020

PRECAF Randomized Controlled Trial.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2021 01 10;14(1):e008993. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Electrophysiology Section, Cardiovascular Division, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (L.K., D.S.F., A.L., J.A., M.H., P.S., F.E.M., S.N.).

Background: We have previously shown that the presence of dual muscular coronary sinus (CS) to left atrial (LA) connections, coupled with rate-dependent unidirectional block in one limb, is associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) induction. This study sought to examine whether ablation of distal CS to LA connections at a first AF ablation reduces arrhythmia recurrence during follow-up.

Methods: In this single-center, randomized, controlled trial, 35 consecutive patients with drug-refractory AF undergoing first-time ablation between August 2018 and August 2019, were randomly assigned to (1) standard ablation (pulmonary vein isolation and nonpulmonary vein trigger ablation) versus (2) standard ablation plus elimination of distal CS to LA connections targeting the earliest LA activation during distal CS pacing with a deca-polar catheter placed with its proximal electrode at the ostium. Change of the local CS atrial electrogram and LA activation sequence to early activation of the LA septum or roof during distal CS pacing were the end point for CS-LA connection elimination.

Results: Thirty patients completed 6 months study follow-up (15 patients in each group). Demographic characteristics including age and AF persistence were similar in both groups. After a mean follow-up of 170±22 days, there were 7 atrial arrhythmia recurrences in the standard group and 1 recurrence in the CS-LA connection elimination group (46.7% versus 6.7%, hazard ratio, 0.12, =0.047).

Conclusions: Elimination of distal CS to LA connections reduced atrial arrhythmia recurrences compared with standard pulmonary vein isolation and nonpulmonary vein trigger ablation in patients undergoing a first AF ablation procedure in a small randomized study. This strategy warrants further evaluation in a multicenter randomized trial. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT03646643.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.120.008993DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8054782PMC
January 2021

Catheter ablation of atrial arrhythmias following lung transplant: Electrophysiological findings and outcomes.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 01 25;32(1):49-57. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

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

Introduction: Data on the mechanisms of atrial arrhythmias (AAs) and outcomes of catheter ablation (CA) in lung transplantation (LT) patients are insufficient. We evaluated the electrophysiologic features and outcomes of CA of AAs in LT patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: We conducted a retrospective study of all the LT patients who underwent CA for AAs at our institution between 2004 and 2019. A total of 15 patients (43% males, age: 61 ± 10 years) with a history of LT (60% bilateral and 40% unilateral) were identified. All patients had documented organized AA on surface electrocardiogram and seven patients also had atrial fibrillation (AF; 47% with >1 clinical arrhythmia). At electrophysiological study, 19 organized AAs were documented (48% focal and 52% macro-re-entrant). Focal atrial tachycardias/flutters were targeted along the pulmonary vein (PV) anastomotic site at the left inferior PV (n = 2), ridge and carina of the left superior PV (n = 2), left atrium (LA) posterior wall (n = 3), LA roof (n = 1), and tricuspid annulus (n = 1). Macro-re-entrant AAs included cavotricuspid isthmus-dependent flutter (n = 2), incisional LA flutter (n = 4), LA roof-dependent flutter (n = 1), and mitral annular flutter (n = 3). In patients with LA mapping (n = 13), PV reconnection on the side of the LT was found in six patients (40%, all with clinically documented AF), with a mean of 2.1 ± 0.9 PVs reconnected per patient. Patients with AF underwent successful PV isolation. After a median follow-up of 19 months (range: 6-86 months), 75% of patients remained free from recurrent AAs. No procedural major complications occurred.

Conclusion: In patients with prior LT, recurrent AAs are typically associated with substrate surrounding the surgical anastomotic lines and/or chronically reconnected PVs. CA of AAs in this population is safe and effective to achieve long-term arrhythmia control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14816DOI Listing
January 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

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

Outcomes of Percutaneous Trans-Right Atrial Access to the Left Ventricle for Catheter Ablation of Ventricular Tachycardia in Patients With Mechanical Aortic and Mitral Valves.

JAMA Cardiol 2020 Sep 30. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

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

Importance: In patients with mechanical valves in the aortic and mitral positions, percutaneous access to the left ventricle (LV) via a transfemoral approach for catheter ablation of ventricular tachycardia (VT) has been considered infeasible.

Objective: To describe the outcomes of a novel percutaneous trans-right atrial (RA) access to the LV via a femoral venous approach for catheter ablation of VT in patients with mechanical aortic and mitral valves.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This observational study included consecutive patients with mechanical valves in the aortic and mitral positions and recurrent monomorphic drug-refractory VT associated with an LV substrate. Percutaneous LV access was performed from a transfemoral venous route with the aid of a deflectable sheath and a radiofrequency wire by creating an iatrogenic Gerbode defect with direct puncture of the inferior and medial aspect of the RA, adjacent to the inferior-septal process of the LV (ISP-LV), under intracardiac echography guidance. Once the wire crossed to the LV, balloon dilatation of the ventriculotomy site (with a noncompliant balloon; diameter, 8 to 10 mm) was performed to facilitate passage of the sheath within the LV.

Exposures: Percutaneous trans-RA access to the LV via puncture of the ISP-LV to perform catheter ablation of VT in patients with mechanical aortic and mitral valves.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Feasibility and safety of a trans-RA access to the LV for catheter ablation of VT.

Results: A total of 4 patients (mean [SD] age, 60 [7] years; mean [SD] LV ejection fraction, 31% [9%]) with recurrent VT associated with an LV substrate (ischemic cardiomyopathy, 3 patients; nonischemic cardiomyopathy, 1 patient) and mechanical valves in the aortic and mitral position underwent trans-RA access through the ISP-LV for catheter ablation of VT. The time to obtain LV access ranged from 60 minutes (first case) to 22 minutes (last case) (mean [SD], 36 [15] minutes). No complications associated with the access occurred. In particular, in the 3 patients with preserved atrioventricular conduction at baseline, no new conduction abnormalities were observed after the access. Complete VT noninducibility at programmed ventricular stimulation was achieved in 3 cases, and no patient had VT recurrence at a median follow-up of 14 months (range, 6-21 months).

Conclusions And Relevance: A percutaneous trans-RA access to the LV via a femoral venous approach for catheter ablation of VT in patients with mechanical aortic and mitral valves is feasible and appears safe. This novel technique may allow for catheter ablation of VT in a population of patients in whom conventional LV access via retrograde aortic or atrial transseptal routes is not possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2020.4414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941197PMC
September 2020