Vol 19, No 3 (2012)
Original articles
Published online: 2012-05-28

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Is routine echocardiography necessary after catheter ablation of atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia?

Ibrahim Halil Tanboga, Mustafa Kurt, Tayyar Gökdeniz, Turgay Isik, Mehmet Ekinci, Ahmet Kaya, Enbiya Aksakal, Serdar Sevimli
Cardiol J 2012;19(3):274-277.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether pericardial effusion (PE) detected by transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) was clinically significant and whether routine echocardiography was necessary after catheter ablation of atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia (AVNRT).
Methods: A total of 202 patients with AVNRT were included in the study from three centers. The patients received basic electrophysiology-guided therapy, followed by radiofrequency ablation (RFA). All patients underwent TTE before and after RFA therapy.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 46.2 ± 17.9 and 30.7% of the patients were male. Of these patients, six (3%) had postoperative PE, as detected by TTE. However, none of them had cardiac tamponade (CT). Four patients had minimal PE, while two had mild PE. Repeated TTE at one to three months showed resolved PE. No significant difference was seen among the patients with and/or without PE in terms of age, gender, the number of RFA applications, or RFA duration; however, significantly prolonged duration of fluoroscopy exposure was observed in the patients with PE.
Conclusions: PE was detected in 3% of the patients by TTE and associated with prolonged duration of fluoroscopy exposure. However, no patients with moderate or large PE or cardiac tamponade were found in the study. In conclusion, we suggest that TTE should only be performed in the presence of clinical indications following ablation of AVNRT.

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