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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Catheter ablation of atrial flutter in patients with left ventricular assist device improves symptoms of right heart failure

Rashmi U Hottigoudar, Allen G Deam, Emma J Birks, Kelly C McCants, Mark S Slaughter, Rakesh Gopinathannair
Congestive Heart Failure 2013, 19 (4): 165-71
23910701
Persistent atrial flutter (AFL) in left ventricular assist device (LVAD) recipients can result in loss of AV synchrony, impaired ventricular filling and right heart failure (RHF). The authors report the largest series of HeartMate II (HMII) patients who developed AFL with decompensated RHF, which successfully resolved with AFL ablation. Eight patients with HMII LVAD (mean age, 57±12 years) had medically refractory AFL, with 7 developing de novo AFL after LVAD implant (onset range, 2 days-22 months post-implant). Three patients developed recurrent syncope, 2 had inappropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator shocks, and 6 had new or escalating need for inotropes. All had features of decompensated RHF. Seven patients underwent electrophysiology testing where mapping confirmed typical counterclockwise AFL (mean AFL cycle length, 252±49 ms) and radiofrequency ablation of cavotricuspid isthmus restored sinus rhythm in all patients. Complete resolution of symptoms and signs of RHF with improved quality of life were noted in all. No procedural complications were noted. During a mean follow-up of 9±5 months, all patients remained free of atrial flutter. Catheter ablation of AFL in LVAD patients is safe and highly effective, resulting in immediate and significant improvement in symptoms of RHF, and should be considered first-line therapy for AFL in these patients.

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