Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Heart Rhythm. 2006 Mar;3(3):268-72.

Right ventricular pacing to assess transisthmus conduction in patients undergoing isthmus-dependent atrial flutter ablation: a new useful technique?

Author information

  • 1Division of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, MC 36-10, 1000 E. Mountain Boulevard, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711, USA. pvijayaraman1@geisinger.edu



Successful radiofrequency (RF) ablation of typical, isthmus-dependent atrial flutter requires establishment and confirmation of bidirectional conduction block across the cavotricuspid isthmus. Low atrial pacing usually is performed from the bipoles of the 20-pole Halo catheter, septal and lateral to the cavotricuspid isthmus ablation line. However, occasionally this is difficult because of high pacing thresholds and/or saturation of the atrial electrograms recorded near the pacing catheter.


The purpose of this study was to assess if right ventricular (RV) pacing and resulting retrograde atrial activation can be used to assess conduction block from the septum to the lateral wall in a clockwise direction.


Thirty-five consecutive male patients (mean age 64 +/- 10 years; mean ejection fraction 42 +/- 13%; mean left atrial dimension 44 +/- 6 mm) with typical isthmus-dependent atrial flutter were studied. The following electrophysiology catheters were used: 20-pole catheter along the tricuspid annulus, quadripolar catheters at the His and/or RV apex, and 8-mm ablation catheter. Following RF ablation of the cavotricuspid isthmus, bidirectional conduction block was confirmed in all 35 patients by pacing at a cycle length of 600 ms from bipoles septal and lateral to the cavotricuspid isthmus ablation line. Conduction times from pacing artifact to adjacent bipolar atrial electrograms and reversal of atrial activation pattern were analyzed. RV pacing was performed and retrograde atrial activation pattern assessed. If retrograde AV nodal conduction was absent, isoproterenol was infused intravenously at 2 microg/min, and RV pacing was repeated. The conduction time between the double potentials across the cavotricuspid isthmus ablation line was measured.


Mean conduction times across the isthmus during septal (S), lateral (L), and RV pacing were 145 +/- 21 ms, 144 +/- 24 ms, and 129 +/- 20 ms, respectively. Retrograde AV nodal conduction was present in 34 of 35 patients (isoproterenol 8 patients). Evidence of conduction block by a clear change in activation pattern across the isthmus was seen during RV pacing in 33 of 35 patients with bidirectional conduction block.


RV pacing is a simple and easy maneuver that can be performed to assess isthmus conduction in most patients.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk