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Eur Heart J. 1993 Jan;14(1):57-64.

Temperature-controlled radiofrequency catheter ablation of AV conduction: first clinical experience.

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Department of Medicine, University of Munich, Germany.


A new technique for catheter ablation of atrioventricular (AV) conduction, using temperature-controlled radiofrequency energy and a bipolar asymmetrical electrode configuration, was applied to 12 patients (mean age, 48 +/- 15 years; range, 18-69 years) with medically refractory atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) or rapid atrial rhythms. The energy source was a 500 kHz generator with automatic power regulation to a preselected temperature of 80 degrees C. A specially designed 7 F bipolar asymmetric thermo-catheter was used for ablation in all cases. The endpoints of the procedure were: first-degree AV block in patients with AVNRT and third-degree block in patients with atrial fibrillation or flutter. Energy was applied over a range of 1-14 times per patient. After a mean follow-up of 8 +/- 4 months, third- or first-degree AV block persisted in eight patients. In comparison to constant-power radiofrequency ablation, where impedance rises are commonly observed, no impedance rise or coating of the electrode occurred during any of the 97 energy applications in this study. Variable wall contact of the electrode was identified in 20 of 97 applications by a slow temperature rise or a drop in temperature and frequent power adjustments. Thus, monitoring temperature and automatic power regulation may help to reduce the total delivered energy. Temperature control during radiofrequency energy avoids coagulum formation and consequently the associated potential hazards of constant-power application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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