Preexcitation of the atria during reciprocating tachycardia (RT) by a premature ventricular complex occurring when the His bundle is refractory provides direct evidence of the presence of accessory atrioventricular (AV) connection. The impact of ventricular stimulation site and RT cycle length on inducibility of atrial preexcitation was assessed in 38 patients with RT utilizing a single accessory AV connection (right free wall in 5 patients, left free wall in 21 and posterior septal/paraseptal in 12). Extrastimuli were inserted at right ventricular (RV) apical, left ventricular (LV) septal and LV free wall sites. Inducibility of and magnitude of atrial preexcitation increased as stimulation site approached accessory AV connection site. Thus, for RV free wall connections, RV extrastimuli preexcited the atria in 5 of 5 patients, LV septal in 1 of 5 and LV free wall in 0 of 4. For LV free wall accessory connections, RV extrastimuli preexcited the atria in only 3 of 21 patients, compared with 12 of 17 with LV septal and 20 of 21 with LV free wall stimulation. Additionally, the magnitude of atria] preexcitation achieved was related to RT cycle length, diminishing as cycle length shortened. Finally, in a few instances both RV apical and LV free wall extrastimuli failed to elicit preexcitation in patients with a posterior septal connection. Thus, ventricular pacing site and RT cycle length contribute importantly to induction of atrial preexcitation by ventricular extrastimulation technique and should be considered during evaluation of patients with RT in whom accessory AV connections may be present.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine