Can catheter ablation in cardiac arrest survivors prevent ventricular fibrillation recurrence?

Academic Article


  • Ventricular tachyarrhythmias are the most common cause for sudden cardiac death. The success of catheter ablation for supraventricular tachycardias led to the supposition that ablation could also be used in the treatment of ventricular tachycardias. Despite the promising results in bundle branch reentry and some forms of idiopathic ventricular tachycardia, the success rate in patients with coronary artery disease is still low. There is hope that new approaches to reliably localize the critical region of the tachycardia and new ablation techniques to create larger areas of injury may lead to a wider application of ablation therapy in the treatment of ventricular tachycardia. Survivors of cardiac arrest typically have more rapid and unstable arrhythmias than patients with sustained ventricular tachycardia, and these rapid arrhythmias frequently degenerate into ventricular fibrillation. The instability of the arrhythmia makes it impossible to localize the arrhythmia origin with current mapping techniques. Experimental and clinical data, however, suggest that these arrhythmias also frequently start from a localized area of electrical activation. With developments in mapping techniques and energy delivery, catheter ablation may soon become a feasible therapeutic approach in some patients with unstable arrhythmias. The article discusses the prerequisites for this approach and suggests the patients who may be appropriate candidates for this technique.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Reek S; Klein HU; Ideker RE
  • Start Page

  • 1840
  • End Page

  • 1859
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 7