ICE - Intracardiac Echocardiography

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Am J Cardiol. 2004 Jan 1;93(1):49-53.
A comparison of pulmonary vein ostial anatomy by computerized tomography, echocardiography, and venography in patients with atrial fibrillation having radiofrequency catheter ablation.
Wood MA, Wittkamp M, Henry D, Martin R, Nixon JV, Shepard RK, Ellenbogen KA. Division of Cardiology, Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23298, USA.

Accurate assessment of pulmonary vein anatomy is important to procedures that isolate these structures in patients with atrial fibrillation. Various modalities of pulmonary vein (PV) imaging are employed in clinical practice; however, the consistency of findings among the different modalities is unknown. The purpose of this study is to compare PV ostial anatomy by 4 common imaging techniques. Twenty-four patients undergoing catheter-based PV isolation procedures for atrial fibrillation had their PV ostial anatomy determined by cardiac computerized tomography (CT) and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) before ablation and by intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) and venography during the ablation procedure. The number and maximal dimension of the PV ostia were determined by each imaging modality. In the 24 patients, 98 PV ostia were visualized by CT, 93 by ICE, 81 by TEE, and 71 by venography. The average ostial diameters were similar between CT (1.45 +/- 0.29 cm) and ICE (1.51 +/- 0.22 cm, p = 0.066). Compared with CT or ICE, the ostial diameters were larger with venography (1.67 +/- 0.32 cm) and smaller with TEE (1.16 +/- 0.28 cm, all p <0.001). PV ostial diameters as determined by ICE were significantly correlated with CT measurements (r = 0.57, p <0.001) and venography (r = 0.52, p <0.001). Venography measures of PV diameter were correlated with measures by CT (r = 0.33, p = 0.03). TEE measures were not correlated with any other modality (all p >/=0.43). CT identifies the greatest number of PV ostia followed by ICE. Venography overestimates and TEE underestimates ostial diameters compared with CT or ICE. The PV ostial dimensions obtained by ICE, CT, and venography are all significantly correlated.

Circulation. 2003 Jun 3;107(21):2710-6. Epub 2003 May 19.
Phased-array intracardiac echocardiography monitoring during pulmonary vein isolation in patients with atrial fibrillation: impact on outcome and complications.
Marrouche NF, Martin DO, Wazni O, Gillinov AM, Klein A, Bhargava M, Saad E, Bash D, Yamada H, Jaber W, Schweikert R, Tchou P, Abdul-Karim A, Saliba W, Natale A. Center for Atrial Fibrillation, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to assess the impact of intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) on the long-term success and complications in patients undergoing pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). METHODS AND RESULTS: Three hundred fifteen patients underwent PVI for treatment of AF. Each patient underwent ostial isolation of all PVs using a cooled-tip ablation catheter. PVI was performed using circular mapping (CM) alone (group 1, 56 patients), CM and ICE (group 2, 107 patients), and CM and ICE with titration of radiofrequency energy based on visualization of microbubbles by ICE (group 3, 152 patients). After a mean follow-up time of 417+/-145 days, 19.6% (11 of 56), 16.8% (18 of 107), and 9.8% (15 of 152) of patients in groups 1, 2, and 3 experienced recurrence of AF, respectively. Moreover, whereas no group 3 patient experienced severe (>70%) PV stenosis, severe PV stenosis was documented in 3 (3.5%) of 56 patients in group 1 and in 2 (1.8%) of 107 patients in group 2 (P<0.05). No embolic events were detected in group 3 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Intracardiac echocardiography improves the outcome of cooled-tip PVI. Power adjustment guided by direct visualization of microbubble formation reduces the risk of PV stenosis and improves long-term cure.

Am J Cardiol. 2002 Oct 1;90(7):741-6.
Usefulness of phased-array intracardiac echocardiography for the assessment of left atrial mechanical "stunning" in atrial flutter and comparison with multiplane transesophageal echocardiography(*).
Morton JB, Sanders P, Sparks PB, Morgan J, Kalman JM. Department of Cardiology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia.

We compared transesophageal and phased-array intracardiac echocardiography (TEE/ICE) for the 2-dimensional and spectral Doppler assessment of left atrial (LA) mechanical function. TEE is commonly used to assess LA body and LA appendage mechanical function in patients who are undergoing radiofrequency ablation of typical atrial flutter. Fifteen patients underwent TEE and ICE imaging before and after ablation of typical atrial flutter. The following parameters were measured: (1) LA appendage emptying velocity and fractional area change, (2) severity of LA spontaneous echo contrast (graded 0 to 4), (3) maximal inflow velocity of the left and right upper pulmonary veins, and (5) maximal mitral valve E- and A-wave inflow velocities in sinus rhythm. Diagnostic quality imaging was achieved in all patients with TEE and ICE. Comparing TEE and ICE, the following absolute values and linear correlation coefficient (R) were obtained: preablation LA appendage emptying velocity: 0.45 +/- 0.21 versus 0.44 +/- 0.21 m/s (r = 0.95, p = <0.001); postablation LA appendage velocity: 0.33 +/- 0.24 versus 0.34 +/- 0.24 m/s (r = 0.97, p <0.001); LA appendage fractional area change: 35.3 +/- 13.7 versus 35.9 +/- 17.1% (r = 0.81, p <0.001); left upper/right upper pulmonary vein inflow velocity: 0.50 +/- 0.17/0.49 +/- 0.18 versus 0.51 +/- 0.17/0.47 +/- 0.20 m/s (r = 0.93/0.90, p <0.001); mitral valve E/A wave: 0.66 +/- 0.14/0.31 +/- 0.14 versus 0.69 +/- 0.17/0.35 +/- 0.23 (r = 0.84/0.97, p <0.002); LA spontaneous echo contrast (pre- and postablation): 1.1 +/- 1.2/1.3 +/- 1.2 versus 1.2 +/- 1.3/1.4 +/- 1.3 (r = 0.92/0.90, p <0.001). No patients were identified with LA appendage thrombus. Thus, TEE and phased-array ICE provided equivalent imaging data with high statistical correlation. ICE may be an imaging alternative to TEE in the evaluation of a "stunned" left atrium.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2001 Mar;12(3):343-8.
Phased-Array intracardiac echocardiography to guide radiofrequency ablation in the left atrium and at the pulmonary vein ostium.
Morton JB, Sanders P, Byrne MJ, Power J, Mow C, Edwards GA, Kalman JM. Department of Cardiology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Australia.

INTRODUCTION: We sought to evaluate the utility of a phased-array intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) device to identify left atrial (LA) and pulmonary vein (PV) anatomy; accurately guide radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to the right or left PV ostium and LA appendage (LAA); and evaluate PV blood flow before and after RFA using Doppler parameters. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twelve adult sheep were anesthetized and an Acuson 10-French, 7-MHz ICE transducer introduced via the internal jugular vein into the right atrium. The LA was imaged and PV anatomy and blood flow documented using two-dimensional and pulsed-wave Doppler. Mean LA dimensions were 4.6 +/- 0.4 x 3.5 +/- 0.5 cm; mean single right and left main PV ostium diameters were 1.5 +/- 0.2 and 1.3 +/- 0.3 cm; and mean right and left PV first-order branch diameters were 0.8 +/-0.2 and 0.6 +/- 0.1 cm. Mean PV maximum inflow velocity for the right PV were 0.30 +/- 0.05 m/sec and for the left PV were 0.35 +/- 0.04 m/sec. The PV ostia and LAA could be targeted accurately for RFA using ICE guidance. At pathologic evaluation, the mean distance of the lesion center to the right or left PV-LA junction was 3.0 +/- 2.0 mm. The mean distance of the lesion center to the posterior margin of the LAA was <4 mm in all cases. There was no significant increase in PV maximum inflow velocity or decrease in PV diameter following RFA at the PV ostium. Absence of PV obstruction was confirmed at pathology. CONCLUSION: Phased-array ICE allows detailed assessment of LA and PV anatomy when imaged from the right atrium; accurate guidance of RFA to the PV ostium and LAA; and immediate evaluation of PV patency after RFA.

J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2000 Jun;4(2):415-21.
Accuracy of fluoroscopic localization of the Crista terminalis documented by intracardiac echocardiography.
Marchlinski FE, Ren JF, Schwartzman D, Callans DJ, Gottlieb CD. Electrophysiology Section, Allegheny University Hospitals-MCP and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

The crista terminalis is an important anatomic target for ablation of atrial arrhythmias. We determined the accuracy of catheter placement guided by fluoroscopy alone when directed to 24 sites along the crista terminalis in 6 patients. The sites selected included the most medial superior, most lateral superior, mid lateral, and most inferolateral sites along the crista terminalis in each patient. These sites were selected because of their recognized importance in sinus node and/or atrial tachycardia ablation and the importance of avoiding caval structures when targeting the most superior and/or inferior right atrium. The position of the catheter tip was documented using a catheter based ultrasound transducer in the right atrium or vena cava. The operator was blinded to the intracardiac echocardiographic (ICE) results until reviewing the images after the procedure in each patient.The catheter tip, guided by fluoroscopy alone, was identified by ICE to be within the right atrium and within 1cm of the crista terminalis at only 10 of the 24 sites (42%). Importantly, when targeting the most superior and inferior sites along the crista terminalis, the catheter tip, guided by fluoroscopy, was noted to be adjacent to the venous junction with the right atrium but actually located in the superior or inferior vena cava at 5 of the 18 such sites. The catheter was positioned appropriately (within 1 cm of the crista and within the right atrium) guided by fluoroscopy alone when targeting 1 of the 12 sites in the first 3 patients versus 9 of 12 sites in the last 3 patients, p<0.05. In conclusion, it appears that using fluoroscopic guidance alone: 1) localization of the crista terminalis is frequently inaccurate and 2) catheter positioning in the superior/inferior vena cava is commonly noted when targeting very superior and inferior sites along the crista terminalis. A learning curve, assisted by review of ICE recordings after each procedure, appears to improve the accuracy of catheter placement by fluoroscopy alone but still does not result in uniform success. ICE appears to facilitate and ensure accurate targeting of specific anatomic sites along the crista terminalis and thus may serve as an important adjunctive imaging technique in electrophysiology.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 May;33(6):1667-70.
Narrowing of the superior vena cava-right atrium junction during radiofrequency catheter ablation for inappropriate sinus tachycardia: analysis with intracardiac echocardiography.
Callans DJ, Ren JF, Schwartzman D, Gottlieb CD, Chaudhry FA, Marchlinski FE. Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory of the Allegheny University Hospitals, MCP and Hahnemann Divisions, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

OBJECTIVES: The study explored the potential for tissue swelling and venous occlusion during radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation procedures using intracardiac echocardiography (ICE). BACKGROUND: Transient superior vena cava occlusion has been reported following catheter ablation procedures for inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST). Presumably, venous occlusion could occur owing to thrombus formation or tissue swelling with resultant narrowing of the superior vena cava-right atrial (SVC-RA) junction. METHODS: Intracardiac echocardiography (9 MHz) was used to guide ablation catheter position and for continuous monitoring during RF application in 13 ablation procedures in 10 patients with IST. The SVC-RA junction was measured prior to and following ablation. Successful ablation was marked by abrupt reduction in the sinus rate and a change to a superiorly directed p-wave axis. RESULTS: Eleven of 13 procedures were successful, requiring 29 +/- 20 RF lesions. Prior to the delivery of RF lesions, the SVC-RA junction measured 16.4 +/- 2.9 mm. With RF delivery, local and circumferential swelling was observed, causing progressive reduction in the diameter of the SVC-RA junction to 12.6 +/- 3.3 mm (24% reduction, p = 0.0001). A reduction in SVC-RA orifice diameter of > or = 30% compared to baseline was observed in five patients. CONCLUSIONS: The delivery of multiple RF ablation lesions, often necessary for cure of IST, can cause considerable atrial swelling and resultant narrowing of the SVC-RA junction. Smaller venous structures, such as the coronary sinus and the pulmonary veins, would also be expected to be vulnerable to this complication. Thus, ICE imaging may be helpful in preventing excessive tissue swelling leading to venous occlusion during catheter ablation procedures.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 1999 Mar;10(3):358-63.
Intracardiac echocardiography to guide transseptal left heart catheterization for radiofrequency catheter ablation.
Daoud EG, Kalbfleisch SJ, Hummel JD. Mid-Ohio Cardiology Research, Riverside-Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and safety of intracardiac echocardiography to guide transseptal puncture for radiofrequency catheter ablation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Transcatheter intracardiac echocardiography (9 MHz) was utilized to guide transseptal puncture in 53 patients undergoing radiofrequency catheter ablation. The anatomy and relationship of intra- and extracardiac structures were visualized with the ultrasound transducer positioned at the fossa ovalis. The tip of the transseptal dilator and tenting of the fossa ovalis and the left atrial wall were simultaneously visualized in a single ultrasound image in all patients. With maximum tenting of the fossa ovalis, the mean distance from the fossa to the left atrial wall was 11.9 +/- 5.8 mm (range: 1.8 to 25.6 mm). In four patients (8%), the tented fossa ovalis abutted the left atrial wall and the transseptal dilator was redirected with ultrasound guidance. Puncture of the interatrial septum was achieved through the fossa ovalis in each patient and required a single attempt in 51 patients (96%). The mean number of punctures per patient was 1.1 +/- 0.4. The mean time to perform transseptal catheterization was 18.2 +/- 6.8 minutes. There were no complications. CONCLUSION: Intracardiac echocardiography delineated the anatomy of intra- and extracardiac structures not identified with fluoroscopy and simplified correct positioning of the transseptal dilator, puncture of the fossa ovalis, and cannulation of the left atrium in a timely and uncomplicated fashion.

Circulation. 1999 Oct 19;100(16):1744-50.
Electroanatomic left ventricular mapping in the porcine model of healed anterior myocardial infarction. Correlation with intracardiac echocardiography and pathological analysis.
Callans DJ, Ren JF, Michele J, Marchlinski FE, Dillon SM. Arrhythmia Research Laboratory, Allegheny University Hospital, Hahnemann Division, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

BACKGROUND: Catheter ablation for ventricular tachycardia in healed infarction is limited to patients with inducible, tolerated arrhythmias. Strategies that would allow mapping during sinus rhythm might obviate this limitation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Two sets of experiments were performed in adult pigs to refine a new technique for left ventricular mapping. First, detailed endocardial maps were done in 5 normal pigs and 7 pigs 6 to 10 weeks after left anterior descending coronary artery infarction to characterize electrograms in normal and infarcted tissue by electroanatomic mapping (CARTO, Biosense). Electrogram recording sites were verified by intracardiac echo (ICE, 9 MHz) and grouped by location: infarct (area of akinesis by ICE), border (0.5-cm perimeter of akinetic area), and remote. Compared with remote sites, electrograms from infarct sites had smaller amplitudes (1.2+/-0.5 versus 5.1+/-2.1 mV, P<0.001), longer durations (74.2+/-26.3 versus 36.3+/-6.4 ms, P<0.001), and more frequent notched or late components. Border zone electrograms were intermediate in amplitude and duration. Second, infarct characterization by electroanatomic mapping was compared with pathological (exclusion of triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining) and ICE measurements. Infarct size by pathology correlated with the area defined by contiguous electrograms with amplitude

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 1999 Nov;10(11):1525-33.
Anatomy of the left atrium: implications for radiofrequency ablation of atrial fibrillation.
Ho SY, Sanchez-Quintana D, Cabrera JA, Anderson RH. Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College School of Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, London, United Kingdom.

INTRODUCTION: The feasibility of treating atrial fibrillation with radiofrequency ablation has revived interest in the structure of the left atrium, a chamber that has been neglected in many textbooks of anatomy. METHODS AND RESULTS: We reviewed the gross structure of the left atrium by examining the septum, the appendage, and insertions of the pulmonary veins in normal hearts. The limited extent of the true septal component is relevant to procedures using the transseptal approach. On gross examination, the musculature of the atrial wall is composed of overlapping bundles of aligned fibers that, in the majority of hearts, are arranged in characteristic patterns with only minor individual variations. Muscular sleeves extend into the walls of the pulmonary veins to varying distances. The longest sleeves are in the left upper veins. Bachmann's bundle anteriorly, and other smaller bundles superiorly and posteriorly, bridge the septal raphe to blend with musculature of the right atrium. Tongues of left atrial musculature from the posterior wall also extend into the wall of the coronary sinus. CONCLUSION: The left atrium is more complex than usually conceived. Understanding its structure, and the arrangement of its musculature, will help in improving strategies for linear lesions when attempting to compartmentalize the chamber, or when placing focal lesions for ablating ectopic sources.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1998 Feb;31(2):451-9.
"Cristal tachycardias": origin of right atrial tachycardias from the crista terminalis identified by intracardiac echocardiography.
Kalman JM, Olgin JE, Karch MR, Hamdan M, Lee RJ, Lesh MD. Department of Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, USA.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to use intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) to identify the anatomic origin of focal right atrial tachycardias and to define their relation with the crista terminalis (CT). BACKGROUND: Previous studies using ICE during mapping of atrial flutter and inappropriate sinus tachycardia have demonstrated an important relation between endocardial anatomy and electrophysiologic events. Recent studies have suggested that right atrial tachycardias may also have a characteristic anatomic distribution. METHODS: Twenty-three consecutive patients with 27 right atrial tachycardias were included in the study. ICE was used to facilitate activation mapping in relation to endocardial structures. A 20-pole catheter was positioned along the CT under ICE guidance. ICE was also used to assist in guiding detailed mapping with the ablation catheter in the right atrium. RESULTS: Of 27 focal right atrial tachycardias, 18 (67%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 46% to 83%) were on the CT (2 high medial, 8 high lateral, 6 mid and 2 low). ICE identified the location of the tip of the ablation catheter in immediate relation to the CT in all 18 cases. The 20-pole mapping catheter together with echocardiographic visualization of the CT provided a guide to the site of tachycardia origin along this structure. Radiofrequency ablation was successful in 26 (96%) of 27 (95% CI 81% to 100%) right atrial tachycardias. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that approximately two thirds of focal right atrial tachycardias occurring in the absence of structural heart disease will arise along the CT. Recognition of this common distribution may potentially facilitate mapping and ablation of these tachycardias.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 1998 Nov;9(11):1186-95.
The architecture of the atrial musculature between the orifice of the inferior caval vein and the tricuspid valve: the anatomy of the isthmus.
Cabrera JA, Sanchez-Quintana D, Ho SY, Medina A, Anderson RH. Pino Hospital, University of Las Palmas, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

INTRODUCTION: Electrophysiologists recognize a so-called "isthmus" in the right atrium through which passes the reentrant circuit of common atrial flutter. Ablative lesions placed in this narrow channel have proved effective in breaking the circuit. To the best of our knowledge, however, no study has been performed to establish the arrangement and orientation of the atrial myocardial fibers in this crucial area. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined 28 normal heart specimens, identifying a quadrilateral area composed of three morphologic sectors between the inferior caval vein and the tricuspid valve confluent superiorly with the triangle of Koch. Within this quadrilateral, there are constant recesses, or sinuses, inferior and lateral to the orifice of the coronary sinus. The inferior isthmus measured an average of 31+/-4 mm (range 19 to 40). Gross examination identified marked differences in the atrial wall forming the quadrilateral. A smooth anterior component forming the vestibule of the tricuspid valve was found in all the hearts, but variations in the remaining sectors were seen in ten specimens. The usually membranous posterior sector was noticeably muscular in three specimens, while the middle, trabecular sector was more membranous in five specimens. We demonstrated the orientation of the subendocardial atrial fibers by dissection in 14 specimens, revealing a relatively constant overall pattern in eight specimens and variations in fiber orientation in the remaining specimens. CONCLUSION: There are considerable anatomic variations in the atrial wall that comprises the so-called isthmus. The presence of recesses and membranous areas in some hearts and the variations in arrangement of the subendocardial fibers are relevant in improving understanding of conduction in this area.

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1997 Sep;20(9 Pt 1):2248-62.
Use of intracardiac echocardiography in interventional electrophysiology.
Kalman JM, Olgin JE, Karch MR, Lesh MD. Department of Cardiology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia.

Intracardiac echocardiography is emerging as a potentially useful tool during RF ablation procedures. There are a number of potential benefits of direct endocardial visualization during RF ablation including: (1) precise anatomical localization of the ablation catheter tip in relation to important endocardial structures, which cannot be visualized with fluoroscopy; (2) reduction in fluoroscopy time; (3) evaluation of catheter tip tissue contact; (4) confirmation of lesion formation and identification of lesion size and continuity; (5) immediate identification of complications; and (6) as a research tool to help in understanding the critical role played by specific endocardial structures in arrhythmogenesis. This article will review existing data and speculate as to possible future roles for intracardiac echocardiography in interventional electrophysiology.

Circulation. 1995 Oct 1;92(7):1839-48.
Role of right atrial endocardial structures as barriers to conduction during human type I atrial flutter. Activation and entrainment mapping guided by intracardiac echocardiography.
Olgin JE, Kalman JM, Fitzpatrick AP, Lesh MD. Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco 94143-1354, USA.

BACKGROUND: The importance of barriers in atrial flutter has been demonstrated in animals. We used activation and entrainment mapping, guided by intracardiac echocardiography (ICE), to determine whether the crista terminalis (CT) and eustachian ridge (ER) are barriers to conduction during typical atrial flutter in humans. METHODS AND RESULTS: In eight patients, ICE was used to guide the placement of 20-pole and octapolar catheters along the CT and interatrial septum and a roving catheter to nine sites: just posterior (1) and anterior (2) to the CT along the lateral right atrium, at the fossa ovalis (3), and just posterior and anterior to the ER at the low posterolateral (4 and 5), low posterior (6 and 7), and low posteromedial (8 and 9) right atrium. Entrainment was performed, and each site was considered within the flutter circuit if the postpacing interval-flutter cycle length (PPI-FCL) and the stimulus time-activation time (stim time-act time) were < 10 msec. Split potentials were recorded along the CT with components activated in a low-to-high pattern and a high-to-low pattern. Conduction times, as percentage of FCL, were significantly different at sites on either side of the CT and ER: site 1 (33 +/- 13%) and site 2 (43 +/- 12%) (P = .02), site 4 (48 +/- 24%) and site 5 (75 +/- 8.9%) (P = .02), and site 6 (22 +/- 10%) and site 7 (82 +/- 5.3%) (P = .0009). During entrainment, no surface fusion was observed at sites 5, 7, or 9. The PPI-FCL and stim time-act time were not significantly different than 0 at sites 2, 7, 5, or 9, indicating that they were within the flutter circuit, whereas sites 1, 3, 4, and 6 were not. CONCLUSIONS: ICE enabled the correlation of functional electrophysiological properties with specific anatomic landmarks, identifying the CT and ER as barriers to conduction during human atrial flutter.

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