Outer loop and isthmus in ventricular tachycardia circuits: Characteristics and implications

Antonio Frontera, Stefano Pagani, Luca Rosario Limite, Alexios Hadjis, Andrea Manzoni, Luca Dedé, Alfio Quarteroni, Paolo Della Bella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The isthmus of ventricular tachycardia (VT) circuits has been extensively characterized. Few data exist regarding the contribution of the outer loop (OL) to the VT circuit. Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize the electrophysiological properties of the OL. Methods: Complete substrate activation mapping during sinus rhythm (SR) and full activation mapping of the VT circuit with high-density mapping were performed. Maps were analyzed mathematically to reconstruct conduction velocities (CVs) within the circuit. CV >100 cm/s was defined as normal and <50 cm/s as slow. Electrograms along the entire circuit were analyzed for fractionation, duration, and amplitude. Results: Six postmyocardial infarction patients were enrolled. The VT circuit was a figure-of-eight reentrant circuit in 4 patients and a single-loop circuit in 2 patients. The OL exhibited a mean of 1.9 ± 0.9 and 1.6 ± 0.5 corridors of slow conduction (SC) during VT and SR, respectively. SC in the OL were longer and faster than SC in the isthmus during SR. At the OL, SC sites showed local abnormal ventricular activity in 92%, and a bipolar voltage <0.5 mV was identified in 80.7%. Of the double-loop circuits, only 1 patient had fixed lines of block as isthmus boundaries, whereas in 3 patients the circuits were at least partially functional. Conclusion: In ischemic reentrant VT circuits, the OL contributes significantly to reentry with multiple corridors of SC. These corridors can result from structural or functional phenomena. Isthmus boundaries may correspond to functional or fixed lines of block.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1719-1728
Number of pages10
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Circuit
  • Conduction velocity
  • Electrograms
  • Mathematical models
  • Outer loop
  • Ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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