Substrate mapping for scar-related ventricular tachycardia in patients with resynchronization therapy—the importance of the pacing mode

S. H. Baldinger
S. Kumar
A. Fujii
A. Haeberlin
J. Romero
L. M. Epstein, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
G. F. Michaud
U. B. Tedrow
R. John
W. G. Stevenson


© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Purpose: Targets for substrate-based catheter ablation of scar-related ventricular tachycardia (VT) include sites with fractionated and late potentials (LPs). We hypothesized that in patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), the pacing mode may influence the timing of abnormal electrograms (EGMs) relative to the surface QRS complex. Methods: We assessed bipolar EGM characteristics in left ventricular low bipolar voltage areas (< 1.5 mV) from 10 patients with coronary disease and a CRT device undergoing catheter ablation for VT. EGMs at 81 sites were analyzed during three different pacing modes (biventricular (BiV), right ventricular (RV)-only, and left ventricular (LV)-only) pacing. Results: Stimulus to end of local electrogram duration (Stim-to-eEGM) depended significantly on the stimulation site (BiV, LV, or RV, p = 0.032). Single-chamber pacing unmasked LPs, not present during BiV pacing, in three patients. In another three patients, a concomitant increase in stimulus to end of surface QRS duration caused by single-site pacing compensated for the increase in Stim-to-eEGM duration, thereby prohibiting LP unmasking. Conclusion: The sequence of ventricular activation, as determined by the pacing site in patients with CRT devices, has a major influence on the detection of late potentials during substrate-guided ablation. Further study is warranted to define the optimal approaches, including the rhythm, for substrate mapping, but our findings suggest that BiV pacing may be most likely to obscure detection of late potentials as compared to single-site pacing.