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The role of an accessory atrioventricular pathway in reciprocal tachycardia. Observations in patients with and without the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

, : The role of an accessory atrioventricular pathway in reciprocal tachycardia. Observations in patients with and without the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Circulation 52(1): 58-72

To study the pathway of tachycardia in patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome and reciprocal tachycardias, results from intracavitary recordings and atrial and ventricular stimulation were reviewed in 71 patients with the WPW syndrome and 54 patients without pre-excitation. In all patients a reproducible tachycardia could be initated and terminated by appropriately timed electrical stimuli. The following findings were accepted as suggesting the participation of an accessory pathway in the tachycardia circuit: 1) no increase in ventriculo-atrial conduction (V-A C) time following ventricular stimuli given with increasing prematurity; 2) activation of right or left atrium (depending upon the location of the atrial end of the accessory pathway) prior to activation of atrium in the His bundle lead; 3) slowing of tachycardia following bundle branch block to the ventricle in which the accessory pathway inserts; 4) V-A C time of early stimuli on the ventricle during the tachycardia equal to or less than the V-A c time following QRS complexes during tachycardia; 5) inability to initiate tachycardia or slowing of tachycardia following the administration of drugs affecting the accessory pathway. Accepted as suggestive for atrioventricular (A-V) nodal re-entry were the following factors: 1) activation of atrium following initiation of tachycardia by a single atrial premature beat after activation of the bundle of His but before or simultaneous with ventricular activation in first and subsequent beats of tachycardia; 2) initiation of tachycardia following a gradual increase in V-A C time with the appearance of a His bundle electrogram in between the premature beat and retrograde atrial activation; 3) gradual increase in V-A C time with the appearance of a His bundle electrogram following ventricular premature beats given with increasing prematurity; 4) two-to-one block distal to the A-V node or His bundle with persistance of tachycardia. If only positive findings were accepted, 51 patients of the WPW group used their accessory pathway during tachycardia. In eight patients re-entry was confined to the A-V node. In the remaining 12 patients the mechanism was not clear. Of the patients not showing pre-excitation in A-V direction, 47 patients seemed to have their re-entry circuit in the A-V node, five patients used an accessory pathway in V-A direction, and in two patients the pathway of tachycardia could not be identified.


PMID: 1132122

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