Electrophysiologic characteristics of diverse accessory pathway locations of antidromic reciprocating tachycardia


      This study assessed antidromic reciprocating tachycardia (ART) in patients with paraseptal accessory pathways (APs). Previous clinical experience suggests that paraseptal APs are unable to serve as the anterograde limb during ART. Based on the reentry wavelength concept, we hypothesized that anatomic location of a paraseptal AP may not preclude occurrence of ART. If wavelength criteria were met due to prolonged conduction time retrogradely in the atrioventricular node or anterogradely in the AP, ART may be sustained. All patients who had ART in the electrophysiologic laboratory at our institution (1991 to 1998) were studied. Based on fluoroscopically guided electrophysiologic mapping and radiofrequency ablation, AP location was classified as paraseptal, posterior, or lateral. Conduction time and refractoriness measurements were made for all components of the ART circuit. Of 24 patients with ART, 5 (21%) had ART utilizing a paraseptal AP. Anterograde conduction time through the AP and retrograde atrioventricular nodal conduction time were significantly longer in patients with paraseptal versus lateral pathways. Isoproterenol was required for ART induction in 38% of patients with a posterior AP, 36% with lateral AP location, but not in patients with a paraseptal AP. There were no significant differences in tachycardia cycle length or refractoriness of anterograde and/or retrograde components of the macroreentry circuit between the 3 pathway locations. Thus, ART can occur in patients with a paraseptal AP. Slower anterograde pathway conduction, or retrograde atrioventricular nodal conduction renders the wavelength critical for completion of the antidromic reentrant circuit.
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