Epicardial-endocardial breakthrough during stable atrial macroreentry: Evidence from ultra–high-resolution 3-dimensional mapping

Bhupesh Pathik, Geoffrey Lee, Frédéric Sacher, Michel Haïssaguerre, Pierre Jaïs, Grégoire Massoullié, Nicolas Derval, Prashanthan Sanders, Peter Kistler, Jonathan M. Kalman

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Background Evidence for epicardial-endocardial breakthrough (EEB) is derived from mapping inferences in patients with atrial fibrillation who may also have focal activations. Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate whether EEB could be discerned during stable right atrial (RA) macroreentry using high-density high-spatial resolution 3-dimensional mapping. Methods Macroreentry was diagnosed using 3-dimensional mapping and entrainment. Bipolar maps were reviewed for EEB defined as (1) presence of focal endocardial activation with radial spread unaccounted for by an endocardial wavefront and (2) present with the same timing on every tachycardia cycle. The EEB site was always in proximity to a line of endocardial conduction slowing or block. Distance and conduction velocity from the line of block to the EEB site was calculated. Electrograms at EEB sites were individually analyzed for morphology and to confirm direction of activation. Entrainment was performed at EEB sites. Results Twenty-six patients were studied. Fourteen examples of EEB were seen: 11 at the posterior RA (4 at the superior portion of the posterior wall and 7 at the inferior section) and 1 each at the cavotricuspid isthmus postablation, RA septum, and inferolateral RA. The mean area of the EEB site was 0.6 ± 0.2 cm2. A mean of 79.5% ± 18.6% of unipolar electrograms at the EEB site demonstrated an rS morphology. The mean distance and conduction velocity from the line of endocardial block to the EEB site at the posterior RA was 13.6 ± 2.3 mm and 59.3 ± 12.3 cm/s, respectively. In 4 patients, entrainment demonstrated that EEB sites were within the circuit and in 1 of these patients critical to arrhythmia maintenance. Activation maps during tachycardia and coronary sinus pacing demonstrated EEB at the same anatomic site. Conclusion EEB sites were demonstrated in stable atrial macroreentry supported by systematic entrainment confirmation and demonstration of the same phenomenon during pacing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1207
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-Dimensional electroanatomic mapping
  • Atrial macro-reentrant circuits
  • Atrial macro-reentry
  • Cavotricuspid isthmus
  • Epicardial-endocardial breakthrough

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Pathik, B., Lee, G., Sacher, F., Haïssaguerre, M., Jaïs, P., Massoullié, G., ... Kalman, J. M. (2017). Epicardial-endocardial breakthrough during stable atrial macroreentry: Evidence from ultra–high-resolution 3-dimensional mapping. Heart Rhythm, 14(8), 1200-1207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2017.04.043