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Heart Rhythm. 2006 Mar;3(3):360-3.

Epicardial catheter mapping and ablation of ventricular tachycardia.

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Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Percutaneous entry into the pericardial space allows epicardial catheter mapping and ablation in the electrophysiology laboratory, opening a perspective on cardiac electrophysiology that previously was limited largely to the operating room. Scar-related reentry after myocardial infarction usually involves the subendocardium but in some patients can only be ablated from the epicardium. Epicardial, scar-related reentry also is an important cause of ventricular tachycardia in nonischemic cardiomyopathies. Rare supraventricular tachycardias and idiopathic ventricular tachycardia that cannot be defined from the endocardium sometimes can be ablated from the epicardium. With appropriate precautions the procedural risks are low. Epicardial catheter techniques expand the options for investigating cardiac electrophysiology and treating arrhythmias in humans and may lead to insights into transmural properties influencing repolarization and the genesis of arrhythmias.

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