Orthodromic Capture of the Atrial Electrogram During Transient Entrainment of Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia

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Abstract

Background

The reentry circuit of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) has not been fully demonstrated. We hypothesized that if an upper common pathway was present, the atrial electrogram could not be captured orthodromically during transient entrainment of AVNRT by rapid atrial pacing. Based on this hypothesis, the presence of an upper common pathway was investigated.

Methods and Results

The atrial electrogram at the recording site of the His bundle potential was identified during induced AVNRT in 9 patients. To entrain AVNRT transiently, rapid pacing from the high right atrium and coronary sinus was applied at a cycle length 10 milliseconds shorter than that of AVNRT and repeated after a decrement of the paced cycle length in steps of 5 milliseconds until AVNRT was interrupted. In 5 of 7 patients, orthodromic capture of the atrial electrogram at the recording site of the His bundle potential was observed during transient entrainment of AVNRT by coronary sinus pacing, ie, the first postpacing interval of the atrial electrogram at the recording site of the His bundle potential was the same as the paced cycle length. In these 5 patients, the mean minimum paced cycle length capable of orthodromic atrial capture was 349 milliseconds, and the mean difference from the cycle length of AVNRT was only 16 milliseconds. During transient entrainment ofAVNRT by high right atrial pacing, the atrial electrogram could not be captured orthodromically.

Conclusions

Observation of orthodromic capture of the atrial electrogram at the recording site of the His bundle potential by coronary sinus pacing ruled out the presence of an upper common pathway in AVNRT, and the concept that perinodal atrial tissue is involved in the reentry circuit of AVNRT was supported.

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