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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1997 Oct;20(10 Pt 1):2422-8.

Hemodynamic deterioration following radiofrequency ablation of the atrioventricular conduction system.

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Cardiovascular Center, O.L.V. Ziekenhuis, Aalst, Belgium.


Radiofrequency ablation of the atrioventricular conduction system (ACS) has become an established therapy for patients with drug refractory atrial fibrillation. We observed eight patients with hemodynamic deterioration after radiofrequency ablation of the atrioventricular conduction system. As we found hemodynamic deterioration related to worsening mitral regurgitation, we compared the clinical history, electrophysiological, and echocardiographic data from the patients with hemodynamic deterioration and worsening mitral regurgitation (group 1) to those without hemodynamic deterioration and stable mitral regurgitation after the procedure (group 2). Eight out of 108 patients (7.4%) undergoing ablation of the ACS deteriorated hemodynamically with acute pulmonary edema in three and congestive heart failure in five patients occurring at a mean of 3 and 8 weeks, respectively, after the procedure. Three of these patients were referred for mitral valve surgery. Two patients underwent ablation using a left-sided approach. A right-sided approach was used in five patients. In one patient, a left- and right-sided approach was used. Compared to group 2 patients, group 1 patients had significantly higher left ventricular end-diastolic diameters (64 +/- 6 mm vs 56 +/- 9 mm) at baseline despite similar fractional shortening (32% +/- 11% vs 34% +/- 13%), left ventricular end-systolic diameters (43 +/- 9 mm vs 36 +/- 7 mm) and degree of mitral regurgitation (1.4 +/- 1.1 vs 1.4 +/- 0.7) on echocardiographic analysis. Thus, hemodynamic deterioration together with progression of mitral regurgitation is a potential complication of ablation of the ACS (up to 7.4%). Patients with high left ventricular end-diastolic diameters and moderate mitral regurgitation at baseline seem prone to this complication.

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