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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 1996 Jun;7(6):531-6.

A new technique to perform epicardial mapping in the electrophysiology laboratory.

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Heart Institute, University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil.



A possible epicardial site of origin may be the reason for unsuccessful endocardial application of radiofrequency energy to control recurrent ventricular tachycardia. This study tests the feasibility and safety of a new epicardial mapping technique in patients with Chagas' disease and recurrent ventricular tachycardia.


Epicardial mapping was performed through a pericardial puncture as an epidural introducer needle was advanced into the pericardial space under fluoroscopic guidance. Medium contrast was injected to demonstrate the position of the needle tip, and a guidewire was introduced until its tip lay within the pericardial space. A 8-French Hemaquet was advanced and 4-mm deflectable tip catheter introduced into the pericardial sac to map the right and left ventricular epicardium. Transthoracic echocardiographic monitoring was performed on the day of the procedure and on the day of hospital discharge. The pericardial space was reached in all patients with no complications. Electrophysiologic data suggesting the existence of an epicardial circuit was found in one patient. No complications occurred during the hospitalization period.


Epicardial mapping can be safely performed through a pericardial puncture in the electrophysiology laboratory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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