Transcatheter electrical shock ablation of ventricular tachycardia

Bernard Belhassen*, Hylton I. Miller, Eran Geller, Shlomo Laniado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transcatheter shock ablation of ventricular tachycardia was attempted in seven patients who had drug-resistant ventricular tachycardia and in one patient in whom ventricular tachycardia was electrophysiologically induced during therapy with multiple antiarrhythmic drugs. Seven patients had previous myocardial infarction and five of them were high risk candidates for surgical therapy. One patient without organic heart disease had repetitive ventricular tachycardia manifesting two different patterns of left bundle branch block. After endocardial mapping, synchronized unipolar 250 to 300 J shocks (one to six) were delivered between the pole recording the earliest endocardial activity during ventricular tachycardia (40 to 200 ms before the onset of the QRS complex) and a body surface electrode. Immediate complications included severe but reversible cardiogenic shock (one patient), nonclinical ventricular tachycardia (two patients, requiring cardioversion in one), transient atrioventricular and intraventricular conduction disturbances (three patients) and permanent left bundle branch block (one patient). A late complication in one patient, left heart failure, occurred 3 days after delivery of five intracardiac shocks. In two patients, left ventricular ejection fraction markedly decreased and in one of them new ventricular contraction abnormalities appeared. Clinical ventricular tachycardia did not recur in five of the seven post-myocardial infarction patients after 7 to 17 months, and it was not inducible in the four patients undergoing late electrophysiologic study. In the patient with idiopathic ventricular tachycardia, one of the configurational types of ventricular tachycardia recurred. It is concluded that transcatheter shock ablation of ventricular tachycardia is a promising technique that warrants further investigation, especially in high risk surgical candidates. The high incidence of complications, however, should temper any temptation to consider routine use of this procedure in patients with ventricular

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1355
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1986


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