Retrograde coronary venous ethanol infusion for ablation of refractory ventricular tachycardia

Bahij Kreidieh, Moisés Rodríguez-Mañero, Paul A. Schurmann, Sergio Hugo Ibarra-Cortez, Amish S. Dave, Miguel Valderrábano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Background - Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of ventricular tachycardia (VT) can fail because of inaccessibility to the VT substrate. Transarterial coronary ethanol ablation can be effective but entails arterial instrumentation risk. We hypothesized that retrograde coronary venous ethanol ablation can be an alternative bail-out approach to failed VT RFA. Methods and Results - Out of 334 consecutive patients undergoing VT/premature ventricular contraction ablation, 7 patients underwent retrograde coronary venous ethanol ablation. Six out of 7 patients had failed RFA attempts (including epicardial in 3). Coronary venogram-guided venous mapping was performed using a 4F quadripolar catheter or an alligator-clip-connected angioplasty wire. Targeted veins included those with early presystolic potentials and pace-maps matching VT/premature ventricular contraction. An angioplasty balloon (1.5-2×6 mm) was used to deliver 1 to 4 cc of 98% ethanol into a septal branch of the anterior interventricular vein in 5 patients with left ventricular summit VT, a septal branch of the middle cardiac vein, and a posterolateral coronary vein (n=1 each). The clinical VT was successfully ablated acutely in all patients. There were no complications of retrograde coronary venous ethanol ablation, but 1 patient developed pericardial and pleural effusion attributed to pericardial instrumentation. On follow-up of 590±722 days, VT recurred in 4 out of 7 patients, 3 of whom were successfully reablated with RFA. Conclusions - Retrograde coronary venous ethanol ablation is safe and feasible as a bail-out approach to failed VT RFA, particularly those originating from the left ventricular summit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • LV summit
  • catheter ablation
  • ethanol
  • premature ventricular contractions
  • tachycardia, ventricular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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