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Activation Patterns in the Left Atrium During Counterclockwise and Clockwise Atrial Flutter

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Activation of the LA During Atrial Flutter. Introduction: Activation of the left atrium (LA) in patients with isthmus-dependent right atrial flutter (AFL) has not yet been studied. The aim of this study was to analyze the activation patterns in the LA in patients with counterclockwise and clockwise AFL.

Methods and Results: The study population consisted of 12 patients (10 men and 2 women; mean age 61 ± 13 years ) with documented AFL and atrial fibrillation referred for ablation. The LA was mapped with a 64-electrode basket catheter inserted through a transseptal approach (10 patients) or an open foramen ovale (2 patients). In patients with counterclockwise AFL (10 episodes), the LA was activated for a mean of 133 ± 28 msec. Two endocardial breakthroughs of earliest activity on the left side of the interatrial septum, separated in time by an interval of 38 ± 15 msec, were observed in 9 episodes (90%). Two wavefronts originated from these breakthroughs, which activated the posterior and the anterior LA walls, respectively. In one patient, the entire LA was activated from the inferior breakthrough. In patients with clockwise AFL (five episodes), the LA activation time was 130 ± 13 msec. During ongoing episodes, two early electrical breakthroughs, separated in time by an interval of 41 ± 15 msec, appeared in the high anteroseptal and low posteroseptal LA regions. The superior wavefront that emerged from the high anterolateral LA region was the dominant activation pathway in 4 (80%) of 5 episodes.

Conclusion: In patients with AFL, the LA is activated by two wavefronts originating from the high anterior and the low posterior regions of the interatrial septum. The sequence of activation of these interatrial connections in counterclockwise or clockwise AFL and the conductive properties of the LA conduction pathways determine the activation patterns in the LA.

(J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, Vol. 12, pp. 893–899, August 2001)

Keywords: atrial flutter; interatrial connections; left atrium

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Deutsches Herzzentrum München and 1. Medizinische Klinik, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany

Publication date: 2001-08-01

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