Trends in percutaneous pericardial access during catheter ablation of ventricular arrhythmias: a single-center experience

Ammar M. Killu, Alan M. Sugrue, Siva K. Mulpuru, Christopher J. McLeod, David O. Hodge, Peter A. Noseworthy, Lisa Fanning, Thomas M. Munger, Douglas L. Packer, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Paul A. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Percutaneous pericardial access (EpiAcc) assists ventricular tachycardia/premature ventricular complex (VT/PVC) ablation by permitting epicardial mapping and ablation outside the vicinity of the coronary venous system. We sought to determine whether expanding indications and growing operator experience have led to increased rates of EpiAcc. Methods: We reviewed the frequency of EpiAcc procedures performed during VT/PVC ablation between 2007 and 2014 to identify temporal trends in the procedure. Results: There were 758 patients undergoing 880 VT/PVC ablation procedures (average 95 patients per year; 110 procedures per year) during the study period. EpiAcc for ablation was utilized in 170 patients (181 procedures). The average age at the time of EpiAcc was 55 ± 16 years and 129 (76.0 %) patients were male. The rate of EpiAcc was 22.9 % in males and 15.4 % in females (P = 0.008). The absolute number of EpiAcc procedures increased from 2007 (6 procedures) to 2014 (27 procedures). Similarly, the proportion of patients undergoing EpiAcc increased from 8.6 % of procedures in 2007 to 24.5 % in 2014 (P < 0.0001). While EpiAcc use became more frequent, the rate of epicardial ablation among those who underwent EpiAcc remained stable (approximately 70 %). Conclusions: Percutaneous pericardial access has been used with increasing frequency as part of VT/PVC ablations without an increase in the rate of epicardial ablation. This growing utilization may lay the foundation for novel epicardial strategies as new technologies emerge. The frequency of percutaneous pericardial access in VT/PVC ablation appears to be greater in males, reasons for which are undefined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Ablation
  • Epicardial
  • Percutaneous
  • Pericardial
  • Premature ventricular contractions
  • Ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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