Radiofrequency catheter modification of sinus pacemaker function guided by intracardiac echocardiography.Circulation. 1995 Nov 15; 92(10):3070-81.Circ
The sinus P wave arises from a pacemaker complex distributed along the crista terminalis. We investigated the feasibility of modification of sinus pacemaker function using graded applications of radiofrequency energy along the crista terminalis in dogs to achieve sinus rate control.
METHODS AND RESULTS
Modification of sinus pacemaker function (30 +/- 5% reduction in intrinsic heart rate with retention of a normal P-wave axis) was performed in 11 dogs (group 1). Total sinus pacemaker ablation (> 50% reduction in intrinsic heart rate with development of a low ectopic atrial or a junctional rhythm) was performed in 4 dogs (group 2). Intracardiac echocardiography was used to identify the crista terminalis as an anatomic marker of sinus node location. Sinus pacemaker modification caused a significant decrease in intrinsic heart rate (31% reduction, P < .001), heart rate responsiveness to isoproterenol (30% reduction, P < .0001), and average (20% reduction, P = .0002) and maximal (22% reduction, P = .0007) heart rates during 24-hour Holter monitoring. In 6 of the 11 animals, the targeted rate reduction of 30 +/- 5% was accurately achieved (mean, 31.6 +/- 4.3%; P < .001), and in the other 5, significant reduction of intrinsic heart rate was achieved but with greater variation (28.0 +/- 17.3%, P < .005). Corrected sinus node recovery time was not prolonged. After modification, earliest activation was mapped to the crista terminalis inferior to the lesion in all animals. In long-term follow-up (3.7 +/- 1.0 months), effects were maintained. After total sinus pacemaker ablation, junctional and low atrial escape pacemakers were unstable.
This study demonstrates the feasibility of modification of sinus pacemaker function for sinus rate control using catheter-based radiofrequency ablation guided by intracardiac echocardiography. This can be done while pacemaker stability and attenuated responsiveness to autonomic influences are preserved. Intracardiac echocardiography accurately defined the crista terminalis and provided a reliable means to anatomically localize catheter position in relation to the sinus node.