Impact of general anesthesia on initiation and stability of VT during catheter ablation

Eyal Nof*, Tobias Reichlin, Alan D. Enriquez, Justin Ng, Koichi Nagashima, Michifumi Tokuda, Chirag Barbhaiya, Roy M. John, Gregory F. Michaud, Usha Tedrow, Wendy Gross, William G. Stevenson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Radiofrequency ablation of ventricular tachycardia (VT) may be performed with general anesthesia (GA) or conscious sedation; however, comparative data are limited. Objective The purpose of the study was to assess the effects of GA on VT inducibility and stability. Methods A retrospective comparison of 226 patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation for scar-related VT under GA or intravenous conscious sedation was performed. Data were then prospectively collected in 73 patients undergoing noninvasive programmed stimulation (NIPS) while awake, followed by GA and invasive programmed stimulation for VT induction. Results In the retrospective study, groups did not differ in VT inducibility, complications, or abolition of clinical VT. Intravenous hemodynamic support was used more often in the GA group. In the prospective group, 12 patients (16%) were noninducible with NIPS. Of the 61 patients with inducible VT with NIPS, 5 (8%) were noninducible with GA, 25 (41%) were inducible with more aggressive simulation, and 31 (51%) were inducible with the same or less aggressive stimulation. Of the 56 patients who were inducible with NIPS and under GA, 28 (50%) had the same induced VTs and 28 (50%) had different induced VTs. In 23 of 56 patients, the clinical VT morphology was known. The clinical VT was reproduced with NIPS in 17 of 23 patients (74%) and under GA in 13 of 23 patients (59%). Under GA, nonclinical VTs were more often induced in patients with a lower ejection fraction and nonischemic cardiomyopathy. Conclusion GA does not prevent inducible VT in the majority of patients. GA is associated with an increased use of hemodynamic support, but this did not adversely affect VT stability or procedure outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2213-2220
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Ablation
  • Conscious sedation
  • General anesthesia
  • Hemodynamic support
  • Programmed stimulation
  • Ventricular tachycardia


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