Patterns of Accelerated Junctional Rhythm During Slow Pathway Catheter Ablation for Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia: Temperature Dependence, Prognostic Value, and Insights into the Nature of the Slow Pathway Academic Article uri icon


  • Slow Pathway Accelerated Junctional Rhythm. Introduction: Although accelerated junctional rhythm (AJR) is a knuwn marker for successful slow pathway (SP) ablation sites. AJR may just be a regional effect of the anisotropic conduction properties of this area of the heart. We believe that detailed assessment of the AJR might provide insight into the SP specificity of this AJR and perhaps the nature of the SP itself. Methods and Results: Our ablation protocol consisted of 30-second, 70°C temperature-controlled ablation pulses with assessment after each pulse. Serial booster ablations were performed at the original successful site and at least 2 to 3 nearby sites to assess for residual AJR after the procedure in 50 consecutive SP ablations. We defined three distinct patterns of AJR: continuous AJR that persisted until the end of energy delivery (group 1, 25 patients); alternating or “stuttering” AJR that persisted throughout energy delivery (group II, 9 patients); and AJR that ended abruptly during energy delivery (group III, 16 patients). Mean ablation temperatures in the three groups was 57°± 5°C, 54°± 5°C, and 63°± 5°C, respectively (P = 0.0002 for groups I and II vs group III). Ten of 34 (29%) patients in groups I and II (“low-temperature ablation”) exhibited residual SP (jump and/or single echo heats) despite tachycardia noninducibility, and 25 of 34 (73%) patients had residual AJR during the booster ablations, but neither of these was seen in any group III patients. Conclusion: Ablation temperature correlates with the pattern of AJR produced during SP ablation. That higher temperature lesions simultaneously abolish all SP activity as well as the focus of AJR suggests that this AJR is specific for the SP and is not a nonspecific regional effect.

publication date

  • April 20, 2007