OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
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Outcomes in patients with dual antegrade conduction in the atrioventricular node: insights from a multicentre observational study.

BACKGROUND: Supraventricular tachycardias induced by dual antegrade conduction via the atrioventricular (AV) node are rare but often misdiagnosed with severe consequences for the affected patients. As long-term follow-up in these patients was not available so far, this study investigates outcomes in patients with dual antegrade conduction in the AV node.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In this multicentre observational study, patients from six European centres were studied. Catheter ablation was performed in 17 patients (52 ± 16 years) with dual antegrade conduction via both AV nodal pathways between 2012 and 2018. Patients with the final diagnosis of a manifest dual AV nodal non-re-entrant tachycardia had a mean delay of the correct diagnosis of over 1 year (range 2-31 months). Two patients received prescription of non-indicated oral anticoagulation, two further patients suffered from inappropriate shocks of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. In 12 patients, a co-existence of dual antegrade and re-entry conduction in the AV node was present. Mean fast pathway conduction time was 138 ± 61 ms and mean slow pathway conduction time was 593 ± 134 ms. Successful radiofrequency catheter ablation was performed in all patients. Post-procedurally oral anticoagulation was discontinued, without detection of cerebrovascular events or atrial fibrillation during a long-term follow-up of median 17 months (range 6-72 months).

CONCLUSION: This first multicentre study investigating patients with supraventricular tachycardia and dual antegrade conduction in the AV node demonstrates that catheter ablation is safe and effective while long-term patient outcome is good. Autonomic tone dependent changes in ante- vs. retrograde conduction via slow and/or fast pathway can challenge the diagnosis and therapy in some patients.

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