[Comparison of clinical and electrophysiologic characteristics of patients with occult and manifest atrioventricular accessory pathway].Ital Heart J Suppl 2001; 2(8):888-93IH
It is current opinion that concealed and manifest accessory pathways (APs) are indistinguishable with respect to their location and contribution to orthodromic reciprocating tachycardias. The aim of this study was to compare clinical and electrophysiological characteristics of two groups of patients.
Between January 1999 and June 2000, 42 consecutive patients underwent radiofrequency catheter ablation for paroxysmal atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia attributable to a concealed AP. Their clinical and electrophysiological characteristics were compared with a group of 48 consecutive patients with manifest AP and supraventricular tachyarrhythmias.
There were no differences regarding gender, the prevalence of heart disease and the age of onset of symptomatic tachycardias between the two groups. Compared to those with a manifest AP, the patients presenting with a tachyarrhythmia due to a concealed AP were older (48 +/- 15 vs 40 +/- 16 years, p < 0.05) and had a longer history of tachyarrhythmias (22 +/- 16 vs 13 +/- 13 years, p < 0.05). Atrial fibrillation was more frequent in patients with a manifest AP than in patients with a concealed AP (50 vs 9.5% respectively, p = 0.02). Atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia was a cause of more hospitalizations (76 vs 35%, p = 0.01) and episodes of pre-syncope (47 vs 22%, p < 0.05) in the group of patients with a concealed AP. The anatomical site of concealed and manifest APs was significantly different: concealed APs were more frequently localized in the left side (93% left, 7% right), while manifest APs were seen in the left side in 64% of cases, in the right side in 29% and in the posteroseptal left + right region in 7% of cases. The retrograde electrophysiological properties and the inducibility of other types of reentrant arrhythmias were similar. Catheter ablation was similarly successful regardless of whether the AP was concealed or manifest, the rates of success being 91 and 88% respectively at the first attempt and with a similar number of energy applications (7 +/- 7 vs 10 +/- 9, p = NS). At a second attempt, the procedure was successful in 100 and 98% of cases respectively. Periprocedural complications occurred in 5% of patients with a concealed (1 ventricular fibrillation, 1 cerebral transient ischemic attack) and in 8% of patients with a manifest AP (2 pericardial effusion, 1 transient atrioventricular block, 1 anginal attack with spontaneous recovery) (p = NS). Complications occurred only for left-sided APs and were independent of the approach (transseptal or retrograde). Relapse of AP conduction was more frequent in the group of patients with a manifest than in those with a concealed AP (12 vs 5%), though not significantly. There were no late complications.
Those patients presenting with a tachyarrhythmia due to a concealed AP, compared to those with a manifest AP, were older and had a longer history of tachyarrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation was more frequent in patients with manifest AP. Atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia episodes were longer-lasting and caused more hospitalizations and more frequently pre-syncope in the group of patients with a concealed AP. Almost all concealed APs were localized in the left side. The retrograde electrophysiological properties were similar. The results of radiofrequency catheter ablation were comparable in both groups.