Atrioventricular (AV) nodal reentrant tachycardia and atrial flutter are considered 2 distinct supraventricular tachycardias. Recent clinical and experimental data suggest that both these tachycardias include an area in the lower right atrial septum in their reentrant pathways. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that there is an association between the mechanisms of AV nodal reentrant tachycardia and atrial flutter because of a shared pathway of reentry. Consecutive patients referred for evaluation and management of supraventricular tachycardia, thought to be due to AV nodal reentry, underwent electrophysiologic testing protocols designed to induce both AV nodal reentrant tachycardia and atrial flutter, if present. Fifteen of 29 patients (52%) had both AV nodal reentrant tachycardia and atrial flutter induced during eloctrophysiologic testing. Seven of these 15 patients (47%) underwent transcatheter radiofrequency current application (mean power 34 ± 4 W) against the tricuspid annulus above the coronary sinus. In each patient, neither AV nodal reentrant tachycardia nor atrial flutter could be induced after the procedure. Repeat study after successful ablation (mean 6 days) showed no inducible supraventricular arrhythmia of either type at baseline study or during isoproterenol infusion. Atrial flutter occurs frequently (15 of 29 patients; 52%) in patients with AV nodal reentrant tachycardia, because of a shared pathway in their reentry circuits. Because of this shared pathway, both arrhythmias can be ablated at the same site. These observations promote new insights into the mechanism and therapeutics of supraventricular tachycardias.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine