Adults with repaired tetralogy of Fallot (rToF) experience episodes of atrial tachycardia (AT) and radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) is often required but systematic evaluation of the mechanisms and recurrences is lacking.
Between January 2013 and October 2021, 20 rToF patients with AT referred for catheter ablation were enrolled. Electrophysiologic study with 3D electroanatomic mapping with multi-electrode mapping catheters was done, with right atrial bipolar voltage and activation mapping of the AT. Three mechanisms were searched: intra-atrial re-entrant tachycardias (IART), focal (FAT), other. Critical isthmus (CI) for IART was identified with activation mapping. FATs were localized according to the earliest uni/bipolar signal. All induced AT were treated. RFCA was aimed at the earliest activation point for FAT and at the critical isthmus for IART, anchoring lesion to fixed obstacles (valve annuli or scar). Written informed consent was provided.
Among 20 adult (age 46±14 years) and mainly females (n=11, 55%) enrolled pts, 36 AT were documented: 25 (70%) IART, 10 (27%) FAT and only 1 (3%) had a typical atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia. Mean tachycardia cycle length was 307±95 ms. Two ATs were induced in 11 pts, 3 in 4 pts and 4 in 2 during index EPS. Among IART, cavo-tricuspid isthmus (CTI) was the prevalent CI (n=14, 60%), while incisional IART (IARTinc, atriotomy and superior and inferior vena cava orifices, SVC and IVC, respectively) was the second mechanism (n=9, 39%). In two pts, due to non-inducibility, a pre-emptive lesion set comprising in one case CTI and in the second case CTI+SVC-atriotomy-IVC line was performed. Among FAT, in 3 cases the AT was mapped in the coronary sinus, in two at the tricuspid annulus, other at the crista terminalis, right appendage base, posterolateral scar or between atriotomy and SVC. During a median follow-up of 23 months (interquartile range, 6-37) recurrence occurred in 8 pts (25% of pts, 22% of tachycardias). Pts with recurrences were younger (43±7 vs. 48±17 y, p=0.04); no differences were found according to critical isthmus location (4 CTI and 4 IARTinc, 50%, p=ns).
Among rToF pts with AT, IART is the prevalent mechanism and CTI is the prevalent CI; atriotomy scar, however, is involved in a substantial portion of the critical isthmuses of the IART; FAT location is much more variable. Long-term freedom from AT in this clinical setting is encouraging.