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Permanent pacing in children with isolated congenital complete atrioventricular block may cause left ventricular dysfunction. To prevent it, alternative pacing sites have been proposed: left ventricular epicardial or selective right ventricular endocardial pacing.
To compare the functional outcome (left ventricular systolic function and synchrony) in paediatric patients with congenital complete atrioventricular block and left ventricular apical epicardial or right ventricular transvenous mid-septal pacing.
Retrospective study. Epicardial leads were implanted by standard surgical technique, transvenous leads by 3D electroanatomic mapping systems. 3D mapping acquired 3D right ventricular local pacing map and defined the narrowest paced QRS site. 3D mapping guided screw-in bipolar leads on that ventricular site. Electrocardiogram (ECG) (QRS duration) and echocardiographic data (synchrony: interventricular mechanical delay, septal to posterior wall motion delay, systolic dyssynchrony index; contractility: global longitudinal strain, ejection fraction) were recorded. Data are reported as median [interquartile ranges]. p < 0.05 was significant.
There were 19 transvenous systems (age 8.8 [6–14] years; right ventricular mid-septum) and 17 epicardial systems (0.04 [0.001–0.6] years; left ventricular apex). Post-implantation QRS significantly widened either in endocardial or in epicardial patients. Most patients reached 4-year follow-up. One-year and 4-year ejection fraction and global longitudinal strain were mostly within normal limits and did not show significant differences between the two groups and between the same endocardial/epicardial group. Synchrony parameters were within normal limits in the two groups.
Left ventricular apical epicardial pacing and 3D mapping-guided right ventricular mid-septal pacing preserved left ventricular contractility and synchrony in children and adolescents with congenital complete atrioventricular block at short-/mid-term follow-up, without relevant significant differences between the two groups.
The aim of the study was to revise our more recent experience about epicardial posterior-septal accessory pathways radiofrequency transcatheter ablation in children and young patients using a transvenous approach through the coronary sinus, to understand if new mapping and ablation technologies can increase success rate and safety.
Methods and results:
Twenty children (mean age 13 ± 3 years) with epicardial posterior-septal accessory pathways (14 in coronary sinus and 6 in the middle cardiac vein) underwent radiofrequency transcatheter ablation with CARTO-3® system with help of the CARTO-Univu® module. Acute success rate was 73%. No patient was lost to follow-up (mean time 11.4 ± 9 months). The recurrence rate was 19%. Two patients underwent a successful redo-procedure; the overall long-term success rate was 65%. Navistar® catheter presented the highest acute success rate in the coronary sinus. Navistar SmartTouch® was the only catheter that did not present recurrences after the acute success, and it was successfully used in two patients previously unsuccessfully treated with a Navistar ThermoCool®. Acute success rate was 79% without image integration with angio-CT, while it was 63% after the introduction of CARTO-Merge®.
Epicardial posterior-septal accessory pathways can be definitively eliminated by transvenous radiofrequency transcatheter ablation in more than half of the cases in children. Acute success rate does not seem to depend on catheters used, but contact-force catheter seems to be useful in cases with recurrences. Image integration with cardiac-CT does not increase success rate, but it is useful to detect coronary sinus alterations to better guide ablation strategy.
Transcatheter cryoablation is a well-established technique for the treatment of atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia and atrioventricular re-entry tachycardia in children. Fluoroscopy or three-dimensional mapping systems can be used to perform the ablation procedure. The aim of this study was to compare the success rate of cryoablation procedures for the treatment of right septal accessory pathways and atrioventricular nodal re-entry circuits in children using conventional or three-dimensional mapping and to evaluate whether three-dimensional mapping was associated with reduced patient radiation dose compared with traditional mapping.
In 2013, 81 children underwent transcatheter cryoablation at our institution, using conventional mapping in 41 children – 32 atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia and nine atrioventricular re-entry tachycardia – and three-dimensional mapping in 40 children – 24 atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia and 16 atrioventricular re-entry tachycardia.
Using conventional mapping, the overall success rate was 78.1 and 66.7% in patients with atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia or atrioventricular re-entry tachycardia, respectively. Using three-dimensional mapping, the overall success rate was 91.6 and 75%, respectively (p=ns). The use of three-dimensional mapping was associated with a reduction in cumulative air kerma and cumulative air kerma–area product of 76.4 and 67.3%, respectively (p<0.05).
The use of three-dimensional mapping compared with the conventional fluoroscopy-guided method for cryoablation of right septal accessory pathways and atrioventricular nodal re-entry circuits in children was associated with a significant reduction in patient radiation dose without an increase in success rate.
Remote monitoring is increasingly used in the follow-up of patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices. Data on paediatric populations are still lacking. The aim of our study was to follow-up young patients both in-hospital and remotely to enhance device surveillance.
This is an observational registry collecting data on consecutive patients followed-up with the CareLink system. Inclusion criteria were a Medtronic device implanted and patient’s willingness to receive CareLink. Patients were stratified according to age and presence of congenital/structural heart defects (CHD).
A total of 221 patients with a device – 200 pacemakers, 19 implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and two loop recorders – were enrolled (median age of 17 years, range 1–40); 58% of patients were younger than 18 years of age and 73% had CHD. During a follow-up of 12 months (range 4–18), 1361 transmissions (8.9% unscheduled) were reviewed by technicians. Time for review was 6±2 minutes (mean±standard deviation). Missed transmissions were 10.1%. Events were documented in 45% of transmissions, with 2.7% yellow alerts and 0.6% red alerts sent by wireless devices. No significant differences were found in transmission results according to age or presence of CHD. Physicians reviewed 6.3% of transmissions, 29 patients were contacted by phone, and 12 patients underwent unscheduled in-hospital visits. The event recognition with remote monitoring occurred 76 days (range 16–150) earlier than the next scheduled in-office follow-up.
Remote follow-up/monitoring with the CareLink system is useful to enhance device surveillance in young patients. The majority of events were not clinically relevant, and the remaining led to timely management of problems.
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