Utility of High-Output His Pacing during Difficult AV Node Ablation. An Underutilized Strategy

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Atrioventricular (AV) node ablation is a commonly performed procedure for patients with chronic drug refractory atrial fibrillation (AF) with episodes of rapid ventricular response. We report on a 72-year-old man who had difficulty managing chronic drug refractory AFs with frequent hospitalizations for rapid ventricular rate. The patient was taken to the electrophysiology laboratory for AV node ablation. Extensive mapping and localization techniques of the compact AV node and ablation in the region were unsuccessful. Subsequently, high-output His bundle pacing using 20 mA at 2 ms of output energy was performed in an attempt to localize the His bundle in areas where high-output pacing resulted in a narrower QRS complex. Further ablations in the areas where pacing produced a narrower QRS complex resulted in complete heart block. This case highlights the importance of using this simple pacing maneuver to achieve complete heart block in patients in whom standard strategies to localize and ablate the compact AV node are unsuccessful.

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