Surgical treatment of ventricular tachycardia by balloon electric shock ablation: Potential effects on the mitral valve apparatus

L. L. Mickleborough, G. J. Wilson, A. Usui, T. Isomura, A. Varela, H. Rakowski, G. Gray

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We have previously described a new surgical technique for control of arrhythmogenic foci in patients with recurrent ventricular tachycardia that we call balloon electric shock ablation. With this method sequential shocks are delivered to a grid of electrodes on a balloon that can be introduced across the mitral valve into the intact ventricle. A series of experiments was undertaken to investigate possible deleterious effects of balloon electric shock ablation when shocks are delivered directly to the mitral valve apparatus. In six animals shocks totaling 1200 joules were given through a closely spaced electrode grid applied to the area of the mitral valve. Nine to 12 weeks later, left ventricular and mitral valve function were assessed. Balloon electric shock ablation in the basilar portion of the ventricle was associated with decreased myocardial performance, as evidenced by ejection phase indices. In five of six animals balloon ablation led to minor thickening of the valve leaflets and chordal attachments plus necrosis of adjacent myocardium, including papillary muscles. In these animals there was no significant dysfunction of the valve observed. In the remaining animal, however, ablation was centered on the posterior papillary muscle and resulted not only in necrosis of the base of the papillary muscle but also in full-thickness scarring and thinning of the adjacent left ventricular wall. In this dog, mitral regurgitation was seen on long-term follow-up. We conclude that when balloon electric shock ablation is used to destroy a localized area of myocardium in the basilar portion of the intact ventricle, the procedure results in decreased myocardial performance. When shocks were directly applied to the mitral valve apparatus in five of six animals, ablation did not result in significant negative effects on the structure and function of the valve. In the sixth dog, however, shock delivery resulted in transmural necrosis and thinning at the site of papillary muscle insertion and was associated with severe mitral regurgitation with volume loading. Therefore caution should be used when considering clinical application of this technique if the area to be ablated is in the basal portion of the heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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