Objectives. We sought to investigate the long-term efficacy of slow- pathway catheter ablation in patients with spontaneous, documented paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) and dual atrioventricular (AV) node pathways but without inducible tachycardia. Background. The lack of reproduction of clinical PSVT by programmed electrical stimulation, which is not uncommon in AV node reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT), is a dilemma in making the decision of the therapeutic end point of radiofrequency catheter ablation. Methods. Twenty-seven patients (group A) with documented but noninducible PSVT and with dual AV node pathways were prospectively studied. Programmed electrical stimulation could induce a single AV node echo beat in 12 patients, double echo beats in 4 patients and none in 11 patients at baseline or during isoproterenol infusion. Of the patients in group A, 16 underwent slow-pathway catheter ablation and 11 did not. The clinical and electrophysiologic characteristics of the 27 patients were compared with those of patients with dual AV node pathways and inducible AVNRT (group B, n = 55) and patients with dual AV node pathways alone without clinical PSVT (group C, n = 47). Results. During 23 ± 13 months of follow-up, none of the 16 patients with slow-pathway catheter ablation had recurrence of PSVT. However, 7 of the 11 patients without ablation had PSVT recurrence at 13 ± 14 months of follow-up (p < 0.03 by Kaplan-Meier analysis). Compared with groups B and C, group A consisted predominantly of men who had better retrograde AV node conduction and a narrower zone for anterograde slow- pathway conduction. Conclusions. Slow-pathway catheter ablation is highly effective in eliminating spontaneous PSVT in which the tachycardia is not inducible despite the presence of dual AV node pathways.
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