Feasibility of endoscopic guidance for nonsurgical transthoracic atrial and ventricular epicardial ablation

Saman Nazarian, Sergey V. Kantsevoy, Menekhem M. Zviman, Fredrick A. Matsen, Hugh Calkins, Ronald D. Berger, Henry R. Halperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Epicardial catheter ablation via subxiphoid percutaneous access currently is used upon failure of endocardial catheter ablation. The safety, efficacy, and applicability of epicardial catheter ablation likely will improve with direct visualization of the pericardial space. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of percutaneous endoscopic guidance for identification of epicardial anatomic landmarks and epicardial catheter ablation. Methods: Dual subxiphoid epicardial access and femoral venous and arterial access were obtained in six healthy swine. The endoscope and electrophysiology catheter were advanced to the pericardial space. Anatomic landmarks were identified via endoscopy and confirmed by multiview fluoroscopic assessment of proximity to endocardial catheters in the area of interest. Radiofrequency ablation of selected anatomic targets was performed under endoscopic guidance. Targeting of lesions was assessed by pathologic examination of the target and surrounding structures. Results: Dual large-bore subxiphoid epicardial access was obtained without complications in all animals. The coronary sinus, left anterior descending coronary artery, left atrial appendage, and pulmonary veins were easily visualized in all animals. Catheter ablation of anatomic targets, including the right ventricular outflow tract, left atrial appendage, and pulmonary veins, was performed successfully under direct endoscopic observation. Endoscopic guidance of point and linear lesions near coronary vessels also was assessed. Pathology revealed successful targeting of lesions. Conclusion: Endoscopic guidance of percutaneous epicardial electrophysiologic procedures is feasible. Direct visualization of epicardial structures, catheters, and lesions may improve the safety and efficacy of epicardial catheter ablation and reduce staff and patient radiation exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1119
Number of pages5
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrophysiologic study
  • Endoscopy
  • Epicardial ablation
  • Pericardial space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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