Feasibility and safety of catheter ablation of electrical storm in ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy

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AimsElectrical storm is an emergency in ‘implantation of a cardioverter defibrillator’ carriers with ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and negatively impacts long-term prognosis. We evaluated the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) in controlling electrical storm and its impact on survival and ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation recurrence.MethodsWe enrolled 27 consecutive patients (25 men, age 73.1 ± 6.5 years) with ischemic DCM and an indication to RFCA for drug-refractory electrical storm. The immediate outcome was defined as failure or success, depending on whether the patient's clinical ventricular tachycardia could still be induced after RFCA; electrical storm resolution was defined as no sustained ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation in the next 7 days.ResultsOf the 27 patients, 1 died before RFCA; in the remaining 26 patients, a total of 33 RFCAs were performed. In all 26 patients, RFCA was successful, although in 6/26 patients (23.1%), repeated procedures were needed, including epicardial ablation in 3/26 (11.5%). In 23/26 patients (88.5%), electrical storm resolution was achieved. At a follow-up of 16.7 ± 8.1 months, 5/26 patients (19.2%) had died (3 nonsudden cardiac deaths, 2 noncardiac deaths) and 10/26 patients (38.5%) had ventricular tachycardia recurrence; none had electrical storm recurrence. A worse long-term outcome was associated with lower glomerular filtration rate, wider baseline QRS, and presence of atrial fibrillation before electrical storm onset.ConclusionIn patients with ischemic DCM, RFCA is well tolerated, feasible and effective in the acute management of drug-refractory electrical storm. It is associated with a high rate of absence of sustained ventricular tachycardia episodes over the subsequent 7 days. After successful ablation, long-term outcome was mainly predicted by baseline clinical variables.

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