Author(s): Calkins H, Epstein A, Packer D, Arria AM, Hummel J
The purpose of this multicenter study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation system with internal saline irrigation.
Catheter ablation of ventricular tachycardia (VT) associated with structural heart disease is more difficult than ablation of idiopathic VT. The larger size of responsible reentrant circuits contributes to the difficulty in achieving an adequate ablation lesion with conventional techniques. Recently, cooling of the ablation electrode by saline irrigation has been shown to increase RF lesion size.
The patient population included 146 patients who participated in the Cooled RF Ablation System clinical trial and underwent an attempt at ablation of VT occurring in the presence of structural heart disease. The duration of follow-up was 243 +/- 153 days.
Catheter ablation was acutely successful, as defined by elimination of all mappable VTs, in 106 patients (75%). In 59 patients (41%), no VT of any type was inducible after ablation. Twelve patients (8%) experienced a major complication. After catheter ablation, 66 patients (46%) developed one or more episodes of a sustained ventricular arrhythmia.
The results of this study demonstrate that catheter ablation of all mappable forms of sustained VT can be performed with high initial success and a moderate incidence of major complications (8%).