Mitral regurgitation after atrioventricular node catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation and heart failure: acute hemodynamic features

N Twidale, V Manda, R Holliday, S Boler, L Sparks, J Crain, S Carrier
American Heart Journal 1999, 138 (6): 1166-75

BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency catheter ablation of the atrioventricular node and pacemaker insertion have been associated with occasional development of mitral regurgitation (MR). Ventricular pacing might result in MR if (1) left ventricular (LV) compliance is decreased and/or (2) mitral valve leaflet apposition is disturbed. We studied acute hemodynamic changes resulting from initiation of ventricular pacing in patients undergoing ablation.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirteen patients (10 men and 3 women) with a mean age of 73.4 +/- 8. 6 years, with chronic atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure, had permanent ventricular pacemaker insertion with lead placement at the right ventricular (RV) apex. The following hemodynamic recordings were obtained before ablation (during atrial fibrillation) and then immediately after ablation (during RV pacing): heart rate, mean arterial pressure, LV end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), mean pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, V-wave amplitude, and cardiac index. Presence of MR was assessed by V-wave amplitude and the results of LV angiography. In patients who had MR, recordings were also obtained during temporary ventricular pacing from the RV outflow tract (RVOT). As a group there were no significant changes in any hemodynamic measurement. Before ablation, mild MR by LV angiogram was present in 5 patients, but none had large V-wave amplitude. After ablation, mild MR was present by LV angiogram in 6 patients, and in 3 of these patients large V-wave amplitude developed (mean amplitude 42.7 +/- 2.2 mm Hg; assigned to group 1). This was associated with a rise in LVEDP in 1 patient (consistent with reduced LV compliance), but LVEDP was unchanged in the other 2 patients (suggesting abnormal mitral valve leaflet apposition). All patients in group 1 exhibited a fall in V-wave amplitude when the pacing site was moved to the RVOT.

CONCLUSIONS: Both reduced LV compliance and disturbed mitral valve leaflet apposition contribute to MR after ablation. MR is reduced by pacing from the RVOT.

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