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  • 1
    ISSN: 1572-8595
    Keywords: arrhythmia ; fibrillation ; and defibrillation
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Background: The upper limit of vulnerability (ULV) is the stimulus strength above which ventricular fibrillation cannot be induced, even when the stimulus occurs during the vulnerable period of the cardiac cycle. Determination of ULV using T-wave shocks during ventricular pacing has been shown to closely correlate with the defibrillation threshold (DFT) at ICD implantation. However, there are no data correlating ULV determined in sinus rhythm at ICD implantation, with DFT determined at implantation or during long-term follow-up. This is of clinical importance since ULV may be used to estimate DFT during ICD implantation, both during ventricular pacing or sinus rhythm. Methods and Results: Twenty-one patients receiving a transvenous ICD system were studied prospectively. There were 16 males and 5 females, mean age 68 ± 15 years, with mean ejection fraction 37.4 ± 17.4%. All had structural heart disease. The ULV was defined as the lowest energy that did not induce ventricular fibrillation with shocks at 0, 20 and 40ms before the peak of the T-wave, using a step-down protocol. The initial energy tested was 15J and the lowest energy 2J. DFT was determined following a similar step-down protocol. The DFT was defined as the lowest energy that successfully defibrillated the ventricles. The linear correlation coefficient between ULV and DFT was r = 0.73 (p 〈 0.001). At implant, mean ULV was 9.2 ± 5J, not statistically different from mean DFT 9.4 ± 4J. ULV plus 5J successfully defibrillated 19 of 21 patients. During long-term follow-up of 10.1 ± 1.8 months in eight patients, DFT was 8.8 ± 5.8J, not significantly different than the DFT of 7.5 ± 4.1J or ULV of 8.0 ± 5.3 at implant. Conclusion: 1) When determined during normal sinus rhythm the ULV significantly correlates with DFT. 2) ULV testing might be used in lieu of standard DFT testing to confirm adequate lead placement thus minimizing or eliminating VF inductions, particularly in hemodynamically unstable patients. 3) Since ULV + 5J has a high probability of successful defibrillation in most patients, programming ICD first shock energy for VF at ULV + 5J may result in lower first shock energies compared to the standard methods of programming first shock energy at twice DFT. Condensed Abstract. The purpose of this study was to determine if the upper limit of vulnerability (ULV) determined during normal sinus rhythm correlates with the defibrillation threshold (DFT), as has been previously shown when determined during ventricular pacing. The linear correlation coefficient between the ULV and DFT was r = 0.73 (p 〈 0.001). Mean ULV at implant was 9.2 ± 5J, not statistically different from mean DFT of 0.4 ± 4J. During long-term follow-up of 10.1 ± 1.8 months in 8 patients, DFT was 8.75 ± 8J, not significantly different than the DFT of 7.5 ± 4.1J or ULV of 8.0 ± 5.3 at implant. Shocks energies of ULV + 5J successfully defibrillated 19 of 21 patients at implant and 8 of 8 at follow-up. This study indicates that the ULV determined in normal sinus rhythm closely correlates with the DFT, and that ULV + 5J defibrillated most patients. ULV testing could be used to predict DFT and reduce or eliminate the need for DFT testing and VF induction. Programming ICD first shock energy for VF to ULV + 5J will result in lower energy than that used with standard DFT testing.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1572-8595
    Keywords: catheter ablation ; cryotherapy ; isothermic period ; arrhythmia ; lesion size
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract A prototype steerable 8.5F bipolar catheter fitted with a feedback thermocouple was tested in 7 anaesthetized pigs (30 kg) guided by the electrocardiogram in order to modify the AV nodal and His-Purkinje system conductive properties. Thermal energy was delivered by a pressurized N 2O tank (〉650 psi) via a cardiac cryo unit (Spembly, Hampshire, UK) into the catheter wherein gas expands resulting in a tip temperature as low as −70 ± 2°C within 10 seconds. Cryoablation under fluoroscopic and electrocardiographic guidance was applied at distinct sites in both ventricles for 60 or 120 seconds. After a follow-up period of 6 weeks, the ablation lesions found were well demarcated with small margins of hypertrophy of myocardial cells. With respect to lesion volume variability (8–207 mm 3) and geometry, a relationship between the 0°C isothermic period and cryolesion volume was found. Results of an in vitro model corroborated this relationship. Therefore, an isothermic period probably can predict the lesion size and its geometry in terms of lesion depth. This potential therapeutic mode of transcatheter cryoablation deserves further investigation.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1572-8595
    Keywords: genetic ; atrial fibrillation ; arrhythmia
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Cardiology has embraced the techniques of molecular genetics later than other medical disciplines but is now completely submerged in the genetic mapping of cardiac diseases. The techniques of molecular biology, and in particular, their application to the genetics of inherited diseases, have brought the clinician and the scientist together in an unparalleled dependence. The chromosomal mapping of genes responsible for disease requires the identification of families with inherited diseases. This step involves the cooperation of the clinician. In order to continue improving our understanding of the molecular basis, it is imperative to raise the clinician awareness of the role of genetics in cardiac diseases. Arrhythmias can also have a familial origin and it is not generally appreciated that atrial fibrillation could be inherited. In the last two years, we have identified more than 100 families all over the world with individuals affected by the familial form of the disease. With the techniques of genetic mapping we have identified an area on chromosome 10 that carries a gene causing the disease in some of the families and there is ongoing research to identify the specific mutation. The clinician/scientist relationship has just started and the application of the discoveries in molecular genetics will probably have a direct role on how to approach medicine in the future, from prevention of diseases in patients carrying the susceptibility genes to gene therapy in those individuals with the disease.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1572-8595
    Keywords: electrophysiology ; arrhythmia ; tachycardia ; catheter ablation ; atrioventricular node
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract A recent anatomic study has revived interest in the inferior extensions of the compact atrioventricular node in humans. The rightward extension is on the right atrial aspect, close to the septal attachment of the tricuspid valve leaflet and, hence, closely related to the anticipated slow pathway considered to play a role in atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT). This report documents a patient, 65 years of age, with dilated cardiomyopathy and AVNRT. The tachycardia was successfully terminated using selective radiofrequency (RF) ablation, delivered at a site where a slow potential was recorded and validated by atrial pacing, located between the tricuspid valve and the os of the coronary sinus (CS), close to its superior rim. In subsequent years the patient developed progressive heart failure and eventually died. Histopathologic examination revealed extensive scar tissue at the site of the burn, extending onto the crest of the underlying ventricular septum. Serial sections revealed the compact AV node superiorly and an inferior extension surfacing from the scar which could be traced inferiorly beyond the os of the CS. This is the first documentation of RF ablation interrupting an inferior extension of the compact AV node in a patient successfully ablated for AVNRT. The observation suggests that the slow pathway in this patient found its anatomic substrate in the inferior extension of the compact AV node.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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