The optimal surgical therapy for refractory ventricular tachycardia is controversial. The usual operation involves induction of tachycardia and endocardial mapping during normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass, followed by systemic hypothermia, aortic cross-clamping, and resection of the identified site of origin of the tachycardia. Our initial experience with this technique in 20 patients (mean age 60 years, mean ejection fraction 29%, mean number of failed antiarrhythmic drugs three) resulted in five (25%) surgical deaths, three caused by ventricular tachycardia and two by respiratory or heart failure. Electrophysiologic study showed that 11 of 15 survivors were free from ventricular tachycardia after operation, for a success rate in the survivors of 73%. Most failures occurred in patients with multiple tachycardia morphologies that were not eradicated by initial resection. Thereafter, the technique of sequential endocardial resection was used. After completion of endocardial mapping, directed normothermic endocardial resection is performed; more attempts to induce ventricular tachycardia are made and followed by further mapping and resection until tachycardia can no longer be induced. Fifty patients (mean age 59 years, mean ejection fraction 33%, mean number of failed antiarrhythmic drugs three) were treated by this method, with a mean of two resections per patient (range one to six). Mean perfusion time in the sequential resection group (101 ± 28 minutes) was no significantly different from that of the earlier patients (101 ± 40 minutes). There were four (8%) surgical deaths, one caused by persistent arrhythmia and three caused by respiratory or heart failure. Electrophysiologic study after operation showed that 40 of 46 survivors (87%) were free of ventricular tachycardia. Symptoms in the six with inducible tachycardia on postoperative electrophysiologic study were well controlled with medication. These data suggest that sequential endocardial resection guided by intraoperative mapping is a highly effective operative approach for patients with ventricular tachycardia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine