Transcoronary ablation of septal hypertrophy (TASH): a new treatment option for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy

H Kuhn, F H Gietzen, C Leuner, M Schäfers, O Schober, C Strunk-Müller, L Obergassel, M Freick, B Gockel, F Lieder, U Raute-Kreinsen
Zeitschrift Für Kardiologie 2000, 89: IV41-54
In 1991, our group started to develop a catheter interventional therapy for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM). The new concept was proposed in 1994. It is based on the conventional PTCA technique with the aim of inducing an artificial myocardial infarction by instillation of 96% ethanol into the most proximally situated septal branch of the left anterior descending coronary artery. This leads to a subaortic contraction disorder with subsequent decrease of the intraventricular pressure gradient, shrinkage of the hypertrophied septal bulge and widening of the outflow tract ("therapeutic remodeling"). The subaortic defect is small and well demarcated as assessed by left ventricular angiography, transesophageal echocardiography and 18 F-glucose positron emission tomography. The term transcoronary ablation of septum hypertrophy (TASH) was suggested. Our patient cohort that now comprises 215 therapeutic procedures in 187 patients underwent a large variety of prospective studies (maximum follow-up 4.5 years) including invasive controls at regular intervals, investigation of hemodynamics at rest and at exercise, transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, Doppler echocardiography during bicycle exercise, electrophysiologic testing, Holter monitoring and measurement of myocardial metabolism and perfusion, assessment of microembolic events by transcranial Doppler sonography and histological examinations. This article gives an overview and reports our increasing experience in applying TASH. The following post-TASH findings were obtained: significant hemodynamic and clinical improvement at rest and at exercise, decrease of septum thickness, increase of outflow tract area and decrease of induced ventricular tachycardia. There were well-demarcated, histologically atypical subaortic myocardial defects, no microembolic events, abnormal early peak of infarct related enzymes, and no change of baroreflex sensitivity. Pre-/post-TASH evaluations of the patients should be based in particular on clinical symptoms correlated to the intraventricular gradient measured by bicycle exercise Doppler echocardiography and to outflow tract area as assessed by transesophageal echocardiography. Since 1994, as a roughly estimate, worldwide 1000 patients in 20 countries have been treated. According to published articles, abstract presentations and workshops, TASH consistently leads to a pronounced clinical and hemodynamic benefit for patients with HOCM. TASH has become an established technique. At least in centers with a high level of expertise, it is no longer experimental but a routinely performed alternative to surgical treatment for HOCM, i.e., the previous gold standard of therapy. Of course, patient outcome needs further careful clinical and prognostic evaluation. With respect to complications, TASH appears to be superior to surgery (transaortic septal myectomy) for HOCM. Like surgical treatment, TASH is currently indicated in critically ill patients with typical HOCM (subaortic form), who exhibit with drug refractory symptoms, including patients, who preferred DDD pacemaker therapy as a first therapeutic step but in whom this produced no subsequent clinical benefit.

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