A New Era in Epicardial Access for the Ablation of Ventricular Arrhythmias: The Epi-Co(2) Registry
Traykov, Vassil B.
Sebag, Frederic A.
Gul, Enes Elvin
Babu, Girish Ganesha
Lim, Phang Boon
JournalJACC. Clinical electrophysiology
RightsCopyright © 2021 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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OBJECTIVES: This multicenter registry aimed to assess the reproducibility and safety of intentional coronary vein exit and carbon dioxide insufflation to facilitate subxiphoid epicardial access in the setting of ventricular tachycardia ablation. BACKGROUND: Epicardial ablation for ventricular tachycardia is not a widespread technique due to the significant potential complications associated with subxiphoid puncture. The first experience in 12 patients showed that intentional coronary vein exit and carbon dioxide insufflation was technically feasible. METHODS: A branch of the coronary sinus was cannulated by means of a diagnostic JR4 coronary catheter. Intentional perforation at the distal portion of that branch was performed with a high tip load 0.014-inch angioplasty wire. A microcatheter was advanced over the wire into the pericardial space. Carbon dioxide was then insufflated into the pericardial space, allowing direct visualization of the anterior pericardial space to facilitate subxiphoid puncture. RESULTS: Intentional coronary vein exit was attempted in 102 consecutive patients in 16 different centers and successfully completed in 101 patients. Significant pericardial adhesions were confirmed in 3 patients, preventing carbon dioxide insufflation and epicardial ablation. None of the punctures were complicated with inadvertent right ventricular puncture or damage to a coronary artery. Significant bleeding (>80 ml) due to coronary vein exit occurred in 5 patients, without hemodynamic compromise. None of the patients required surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Coronary vein exit and carbon dioxide insufflation can be safely and reproducibly achieved to facilitate subxiphoid pericardial access in the setting of ventricular tachycardia ablation.