Surgical ablation of ventricular tachycardia with sequential map-guided subendocardial resection: Electrophysiologic assessment and long-term follow-up
A new operative technique of sequential map-guided subendocardial resection (SER) was used in 45 consecutive patients for the treatment of sustained ventricular tachycardia due to coronary artery disease. This technique is characterized by map-guided SER or cryothermic ablation during normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass, followed by repeated sequences of programmed stimulation to assess adequacy of resection. The patients' mean age was 59 +/- 10 years and the mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 34 +/- 12%. Twenty-five (56%) patients had a history of myocardial infarction within the previous 2 months. After ventriculotomy, 34 patients (76%) had inducible monomorphic ventricular tachycardia. These patients underwent repeated sequences of ventricular tachycardia induction and mapping during normothermic bypass followed by successive SER or cryothermic ablation until sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia was no longer inducible. Twenty-seven patients had a total of 60 discrete, mappable tachycardias induced and seven patients had 10 discrete tachycardias that were too fast to accurately map. In the remaining 11 patients, no ventricular tachycardia was inducible after ventriculotomy and SER, which included all visually identifiable scar, was performed. The mean cardiopulmonary bypass time was 102 +/- 27 min. Forty-one of 45 patients (91%) survived to hospital discharge, and 35 of 41 patients (85%) had no inducible ventricular tachycardia at postoperative electrophysiologic evaluation performed in the absence of all antiarrhythmic drugs. The remaining six patients had no inducible ventricular tachycardia with drug therapy. All four operative nonsurvivors had refractory cardiac collapse preoperatively. Over 19 +/- 12 months of follow-up, there were four sudden cardiac deaths and no nonfatal recurrences of ventricular tachycardia. There were seven additional cardiac deaths. Actuarial cardiac survival was 0.57, and freedom from arrhythmic events was 0.76 at 42 months. Thus, in the absence of cardiogenic shock, the technique of sequential map-guided SER achieves: (1) a high operative survival with acceptable perfusion times, (2) excellent long-term arrhythmia control, and (3) survival comparable to that in patients with similar left ventricular function and no history of ventricular tachyarrhythmia.