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Address reprint requests and correspondence: Dr Václav Chaloupecký Jr, Children’s Heart Centre, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and Motol University Hospital, Hošťálkova 605/58, Prague 169 00, Czech Republic.
associated with electromechanical ventricular dyssynchrony present additional therapeutic targets. We present a patient with Ebstein’s anomaly of tricuspid valve and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in whom joint electrophysiological and surgical interventions were used to address all major disease components. This report is unique in highlighting a combination of different treatment modalities for managing severe Ebstein’s anomaly, including catheter pathway mapping and ablation, surgery with cryoablation, and right ventricular cardiac resynchronization therapy (RV-CRT), with optimal results.
Key Teaching Points
Ebstein’s anomaly is a rare and highly variable congenital heart defect presenting with different degrees of severity. The currently used cone repair of the tricuspid valve has carried favorable results in suitable patients.
Accessory atrioventricular pathways causing atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia are frequent and present an additional therapeutic target.
Owing to difficulties with pathway mapping and ablation typical for the Ebstein’s anomaly and high recurrence rate, surgical cryodestruction associated with tricuspid valve repair may be an appealing option if catheter ablation fails.
Manifest right-sided accessory pathway ablation may demask right bundle branch block with subsequent right ventricular electromechanical discoordination amenable to right ventricular cardiac resynchronization therapy.
A 4.5-year-old girl with Ebstein’s anomaly of the tricuspid valve and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome has suffered from recurrent poorly tolerated paroxysms of orthodromic atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia despite treatment with sotalol. Echocardiography showed a type C Ebstein’s anomaly of the tricuspid valve with third-degree tricuspid regurgitation and no shunting on the atrial level (Supplemental Video 1). Her resting electrocardiogram revealed a sinus and low right atrial rhythm with ventricular preexcitation compatible with a right posteroseptal-to-posterior manifest accessory pathway (Figure 1A ). During electrophysiological study using the EnSite Precision™ 3D cardiac mapping system, an orthodromic atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia with right bundle branch block QRS morphology was easily inducible by single atrial extrastimuli (Figure 1B). Initially, successful cryoablation of a right posteroseptal manifest accessory pathway was performed, resulting in a change of the preexcitation pattern and separation of local atrial and ventricular electrograms (Figure 1C–1E). Another right posterior manifest pathway could not be ablated successfully (Figure 1F and 1G). The distance of approximately 10 mm between both mapping sites (Figure 1G) is in favor of the presence of 2 distinct pathways rather than 1 broad pathway, although this could not be definitely proven. Cryoenergy was used to limit the risk of right coronary artery damage reported during radiofrequency catheter ablation in Ebstein’s anomaly
owing to the presence of thin ventricular wall at the anatomical tricuspid annulus.
On the subsequent day, surgical cryoablation of the remaining accessory pathway followed by the cone repair of tricuspid valve was performed. No further intraoperative mapping was performed. A cryolesion at the anatomical tricuspid annulus extending from the lower rim of the coronary sinus ostium to the inferolateral annulus was applied to cover both mapped pathways. Bidirectional block was proven by atrial and ventricular pacing using the Medtronic CareLink 2090 Programmer/Analyzer connected to the temporary atrial and ventricular pacing wires placed on the right atrium and ventricle. Antegrade and retrograde block was seen during adenosine administration. Transesophageal echocardiography showed favorable tricuspid valve function along with severe RV mechanical dyssynchrony attributed to the right bundle branch block demasked by pathway interruption
(Supplemental Video 2). Acute right heart failure prevented discontinuation of cardiopulmonary bypass. Permanent RV-CRT was implemented by implanting a dual-chamber pacemaker with an epicardial right atrial and RV free wall lead, respectively, programmed to DDD mode with AV delay optimized to achieve complete fusion of the paced and spontaneous ventricular activation and narrow pseudo-normalized QRS complex without signs of right bundle branch block (Figure 2A ).
This led to major acute improvement of hemodynamics, enabling smooth discontinuation of cardiopulmonary bypass. Coronary artery injury or spasm potentially associated with cryoablation thus seemed unlikely to be the cause of acute postrepair RV dysfunction and coronary angiography was not performed. The patient was extubated 24 hours after surgery and discharged 7 days later.
Postoperative transthoracic echocardiography showed excellent surgical result with synchronous RV contraction and trivial tricuspid valve regurgitation (Supplemental Video 3). Immediate resynchronization effect was tested on the 14th postoperative day by switching RV-CRT on and off, showing narrow QRS complex and lasting acute improvement of multiple hemodynamic parameters, including RV contraction synchrony and efficiency, as reflected by decreased RV systolic stretch fraction
During further follow-up of 6 months, the girl was asymptomatic, with New York Heart Association class 1 functional status, no supraventricular tachycardia recurrences, and good RV function on continuing RV-CRT.
Selected patients with Ebstein’s anomaly of the tricuspid valve will benefit from a complex therapy approach including treatment of the arrhythmogenic substrates and surgical tricuspid valve plasty. Owing to difficulties with pathway mapping and ablation typical for the Ebstein’s anomaly and high recurrence rate,
surgical cryodestruction associated with tricuspid valve repair may be an appealing option if catheter ablation fails. Ablation of manifest right-sided accessory pathway may demask right bundle branch block with subsequent RV electromechanical dyssynchrony amenable to RV-CRT—a so far only anecdotally reported treatment option in Ebstein’s anomaly.
Supplemental Video 1. Before catheter ablation and surgery. Apical 4-chamber view showing severe Ebstein malformation of the tricuspid valve. Right ventricle is on the left and left ventricle on the right of the picture.
Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography after cone repair and right posterior accessory pathway ablation showing RV mechanical discoordination. Right ventricle is on the bottom right side, right atrium on the top left side.
Apical 4-chamber view 12 days after cone repair and right ventricular cardiac resynchronization therapy displaying the repaired tricuspid valve and synchronous right ventricular contraction. Right ventricle is on the left and left ventricle on the right of the picture.
Epidemiology of Ebstein anomaly: prevalence and patterns in Texas, 1999-2005.
Funding Sources: Václav Chaloupecký Jr, MD; Roman Gebauer, MD; Jan Kovanda, MD; Karel Koubský, MD, PhD; and Jan Janoušek, MD, PhD were supported by the Ministry of Health, Czech Republic – conceptual development of research organization, Motol University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic 00064203. Disclosures: The authors have no conflicts to disclose.