Focal intra-cavotricuspid isthmus atrial tachycardias occurring after typical atrial flutter ablation: incidence and electrocardiographic and electrophysiological characteristics

  • Taihei Itoh
  • Yukihiko Yoshida
  • Itsuro Morishima
  • Takumi Yamada



Focal atrial tachycardias (ATs) from the septal cavotricuspid isthmus (CTI) occurring after successful CTI ablation can mimic typical atrial flutter (tAFL). This study investigated the incidence, and electrocardiographic and electrophysiological characteristics of these ATs.


Among 1082 consecutive patients undergoing successful CTI ablation without any congenital heart diseases, 7 were diagnosed with focal ATs originating from the septal CTI that occurred a median of 74 days after the CTI ablation.


The electrocardiographic characteristics of the ATs were similar to those of the tAFLs. The AT’s cycle length was never shorter than and often similar to that of tAFLs. The activation patterns along the tricuspid annulus during the ATs were the same as those of tAFLs in 4 patients with foci adjacent to the CTI line, and centrifugal from foci around the coronary sinus (CS) ostium in 3. Entrainment pacing from the lateral CTI during the ATs revealed a manifest fusion and long post-pacing interval. Entrainment pacing from the lateral CTI during the ATs revealed that the atrial electrograms recorded from the CS and high-lateral right atrium were orthodromically captured, while that from the proximal CS revealed that the atrial electrograms recorded from the CS and lateral right atrium were antidromically captured without manifest fusion.


Focal intra-CTI ATs with a microreentrant mechanism very rarely occurred after successful CTI ablation. The electrocardiographic and electrophysiological characteristics of these ATs were similar to those of tAFLs. Overdrive pacing from the lateral CTI and proximal CS was helpful for distinguishing these ATs from recurrent tAFLs.


Atrial tachycardia Cavotricuspid isthmus Typical atrial flutter Entrainment Catheter ablation 


Compliance with ethical standards

The institutional review board approved the study protocol, and written informed consent was obtained from all patients before the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular DiseaseUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Department of CardiologyNagoya Dai-ni Red Cross HospitalNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Department of CardiologyOgaki Municipal HospitalOgakiJapan

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