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Idiopathic ventricular tachycardia: transcatheter ablation or antiarrhythmic drugs?



Ventricular tachycardia or frequent premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) can occur in the absence of any detectable structural heart disease. In this clinical setting, these arrhythmias are termed idiopathic. Usually, they carry a benign prognosis and any potential ablative intervention is carried out if patients are highly symptomatic or, more importantly, if  frequent ventricular arrhythmias can lead to ventricular dysfunction.



In this paper, different forms of idiopathic ventricular tachycardia are reviewed. Outflow tract ventricular tachycardia from the right ventricle is the most frequent form of  the so-called idiopathic ventricular tachycardia. Other forms of  idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias include ventricular tachycardia/PVCs arising from tricuspid annulus, from the mitral annulus, inter-fascicular ventricular tachycardia and papillary muscle ventricular tachycardia. When interventional treatment is deemed necessary, detailed mapping ( earliest activation during VT/PVC, pace mapping ) is crucial as to identify the successful ablation site. Catheter ablation more than antiarrhythmic drug treatment is usually highly  effective in eliminating idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias and providing prevention of recurrence.




Idiopathic VTs are not considered life-threatening arrhythmias and, prevention of recurrences is often achieved by means of catheter ablation that provides an improvement of quality of life. The overall acute success rate of catheter ablation is about 85-90% with a long–term prevention of arrhythmia recurrence of about 75-80%. It is advisable that the procedure is carried out by electrophysiologists with expertise in VT catheter ablation and extensive knowledge of cardiac anatomy as to ensure a high success rate and reduce the likelihood of major complications.

Credits: Claudio Tondo; Corrado Carbucicchio; Antonio Dello Russo; Benedetta Majocchi; Martina Zucchetti; Francesca Pizzamiglio; Fabrizio Bologna; Fabio Cattaneo; Daniele Colombo; Eleonora Russo; Michela Casella

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