Evidence for multiple atrio-AV nodal inputs in the normal dog heart

Matthias Antz, Benjamin J. Scherlag, Kenichiro Otomo, Jan Pitha, Claudio Tondo, Eugene Patterson, Warren M. Jackman, Ralph Lazzara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Complete AV block after combined fast pathway (FP) and slow pathway (SP) ablation is uncommon. The purpose of this study was to interrupt activation of these and additional inputs by placing a radiofrequency lesion across the interatrial septum between the FP and SP ablation sites. Methods and Results: In eight anesthetized open chest dogs, FP ablation induced significant A-H prolongation (ΔA-H: 51±14 msec; P <0.001) and a shift of earliest retrograde atrial activation from the anterior septum to the region of the coronary sinus (CS) os. Subsequently, ablation of the interatrial septum across the fossa ovalis was successful in 5 of 8 dogs, changing the sequence of atrial activation (A) so that A at the His-bundle electrogram, which initially preceded A at the CS os (18 ± 4 msec vs 46 ± 7 msec, P <0.01), now followed CS os A (81 ± 31 msec vs 59 ± 20 msec, P <0.05). Additional ablation of the SP caused a type II Mobitz AV block or complete AV block in 5 of 8 dogs. The four dogs with complete AV block showed a stable, high junctional escape rhythm at a rate of 64 ± 16 beats/min. Pacing between the ablation lesions and the AV node in one dog showed 1:1 AV conduction and Wenckebach-type AV block indicating preserved AV nodal function. Histology showed necrotic changes in the FP and SP transitional cell zones and in the atrial tissue of the interatrial septum. However, the compact AV node, His bundle, and adjacent atria and transitional cells were undamaged. Conclusion: There are additional AV nodal inputs in the interatrial septum in addition to the anterior FP and posterior SP inputs. Ablation of all of these may be required, if the aim is production of complete AV block proximal to the AV node with a high junctional escape rhythm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-408
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Atrioventricular conduction
  • Atrioventricular nodal inputs
  • Atrioventricular node
  • Fast pathway
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Slow pathway
  • Third pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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