Feasibility and safety of percutaneous epicardial access for mapping and ablation for ventricular arrhythmias in patients on oral anticoagulants

Koji Miyamoto, Ammar M. Killu, Danesh K. Kella, David O. Hodge, Suraj Kapa, Siva K. Mulpuru, Abhishek J. Deshmukh, Douglas L. Packer, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Thomas M. Munger, Paul A. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aimed to assess the risk of procedure-related complications of percutaneous epicardial access (EpiAcc) for radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFA) of ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) in patients chronically treated oral anticoagulants (OACs) with warfarin compared to those not on OACs. Methods: We analyzed 205 patients (53 ± 16 years, 155 males) undergoing percutaneous EpiAcc as part of an RFA for VAs, and compared the outcome between patients chronically on OACs with warfarin (OAC group) and those without (non-OAC group). Results: Forty-seven patients (23%) were chronically treated on OACs before their procedure. EpiAcc in patients on OAC (OAC group) was not associated with an increased risk of cardiac tamponade (11% vs. 6%, p = 0.238) compared to non-OAC group, but a higher risk of need for blood transfusion (17% vs. 6%; p = 0.013). With respect to the OAC group, the international normalized ratio (INR) on the day of the RFA was ≥ 2.0 in 9 patients (19%) and < 2.0 in the remaining 38 patients (81%). The rate of all complication and blood transfusion were similar between them (11% vs. 21%; p = 0.496, 11% vs. 18%; p = 0.600). Conclusion: Percutaneous EpiAcc in patients on chronic OAC with warfarin did not significantly increase the risk of cardiac tamponade, but was associated with a higher risk of need for blood transfusion. EpiACC in patients with an INR > 2.0 is reasonable in experienced hands when clinical indications are strong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019


  • Complications
  • Epicardial access
  • Oral anticoagulants
  • Radiofrequency catheter ablation
  • Ventricular arrhythmias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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