UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Trigger and Substrate Mapping and Ablation for Ventricular Fibrillation in the Structurally Normal Heart Christie, Simon; Idris, Sami; Bennett, Richard G.; Deyell, Marc W.; Roston, Thomas; Laksman, Zachary


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) represents approximately 50% of all cardiovascular mortality in the United States. The majority of SCD occurs in individuals with structural heart disease; however, around 5% of individuals have no identifiable cause on autopsy. This proportion is even higher in those <40 years old, where SCD is particularly devastating. Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is often the terminal rhythm leading to SCD. Catheter ablation for VF has emerged as an effective tool to alter the natural history of this disease among high-risk individuals. Important advances have been made in the identification of several mechanisms involved in the initiation and maintenance of VF. Targeting the triggers of VF as well as the underlying substrate that perpetuates these lethal arrhythmias has the potential to eliminate further episodes. Although important gaps remain in our understanding of VF, catheter ablation has become an important option for individuals with refractory arrhythmias. This review outlines a contemporary approach to the mapping and ablation of VF in the structurally normal heart, specifically focusing on the following major conditions: idiopathic ventricular fibrillation, short-coupled ventricular fibrillation, and the J-wave syndromes—Brugada syndrome and early-repolarization syndrome.

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