Interrelations between QRS morphology, duration, and HV interval changes following right bundle branch radiofrequency catheter ablation

A A Mehdirad, E Curtiss, P Tchou
Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology: PACE 1998, 21 (6): 1180-8
Interrelations between QRS morphology, duration, and HV interval changes in a model of "complete" bundle branch block following right bundle branch radiofrequency ablation have not been subjected to systematic study. This article describes these interrelations in patients who underwent right bundle ablation. Over a period of 42 months, 16 patients underwent radiofrequency ablation of the right bundle for treatment of bundle branch reentrant tachycardia. All 16 patients had prolonged HV interval at baseline (minimum = 60 ms; mean = 68 +/- 8 ms). After ablation, one patient developed complete heart block; the remaining 15 patients developed complete right bundle branch block (RBBB) and further prolongation of the HV interval (increment = 24 +/- 16 ms). In 14 of these 15 patients, QRS duration was 138 +/- 26 ms before ablation and increased to 168 +/- 13 ms after ablation. In the remaining patient, the QRS duration was 160 ms before ablation and shortened to 144 ms following ablation despite further HV prolongation. Larger increases of HV interval after ablation were associated with smaller or negative changes in QRS duration (r = -0.77). Three was a direct relationship between QRS duration at baseline and the increment in HV interval after ablation (r = 0.70), and an inverse relationship between QRS duration before and after ablation (r = 0.84). Radiofrequency ablation of right bundle may be associated with an increase in HV interval and QRS duration. However, HV interval prolongation is not necessarily associated with QRS duration widening. A large change in HV interval is more likely to be associated with an already prolonged QRS duration before ablation and a lesser increase or even decrease in QRS duration after ablation. A shorter QRS duration before ablation is associated with a smaller HV interval increase following ablation but a greater increment in QRS duration. These findings are consistent with the concept that narrowness of QRS duration is due to synchronized activation of ventricular endocardium; whereas, QRS duration widening seen with His-Purkinje damage is due to reduced synchronization of endocardial activation.

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