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Ventricular tachycardia in cardiac sarcoidosis: characterization of ventricular substrate and outcomes ofcatheter ablation

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2015 Feb;8(1):87-93.

Ventricular tachycardia in cardiac sarcoidosis: characterization of ventricular substrate and outcomes ofcatheter ablation.

Kumar S1, Barbhaiya C1, Nagashima K1, Choi EK1, Epstein LM1, John RM1, Maytin M1, Albert CM1, Miller AL1, Koplan BA1, Michaud GF1, Tedrow UB1,Stevenson WG2.

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Cardiac sarcoid-related ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a rare disorder; the underlying substrate and response to ablation are poorly understood. We sought to examine the ventricular substrate and outcomes of catheter ablation in this population.


Of 435 patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy referred for VT ablation, 21 patients (5%) had cardiac sarcoidosis. Multiple inducible VTs were observed with mechanism consistent with scar-mediated re-entry in all VTs. Voltage maps showed widespread and confluent right ventricular scarring. Left ventricular scarring was patchy with a predilection for the basal septum, anterior wall, and perivalvular regions. Epicardial right ventricular scar overlay and exceeded the region of corresponding endocardial scar. After ≥1 procedures, ablation abolished ≥1 inducible VT in 90% and eliminated VT storm in 78% of patients; however, multiple residual VTs remained inducible. Failure to abolish all inducible VTs was because of septal intramural circuits or extensive right ventricular scarring. Multiple procedure VT-free survival was 37% at 1 year, but VT control was achievable in the majority of patients with fewer antiarrhythmic drugs compared with preablation (2.1±0.8 versus 1.1±0.8; P<0.001).


Patients with cardiac sarcoidosis and VT exhibit ventricular substrate characterized by confluent right ventricular scarring and patchy left ventricular scarring capable of sustaining a large number of re-entrant circuits. Catheter ablation is effective in terminating VT storm and eliminating ≥1 inducible VT in the majority of patients, but recurrences are common. Ablation in conjunction with antiarrhythmic drugs can help palliate VT in this high-risk population.



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