Objectives: The goal of this study was to characterize, in detail, focal atrial tachycardia (AT) arising from the crista terminalis to investigate associations with other atrial arrhythmia and to define long-term ablation outcomes. Background: The crista terminalis is known to be the most common site of origin for focal AT, but it is not well characterized. Methods: This study retrospectively identified a total of 548 ablation procedures for AT performed at a single center over a 16-year period, of which 171 were arising from the crista terminalis. Results: Compared with patients with other AT sites of origin, crista terminalis AT patients were older (57.3 vs. 47.3 years), more commonly female (72.9% vs. 59.1%), were more commonly associated with coexistent atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia (17.1% vs. 9.7%), and were more likely to be inducible with programmed stimulation (81.5% vs. 58.9%). There was preferential conduction in the superior-inferior axis along the crista terminalis. Acute ablation success rate was high (92.2%) and improved significantly when three-dimensional mapping was used (98.5%). Recurrence in the first 12 months after a successful ablation was 9.7%. Only 2 patients developed atrial fibrillation over the long-term follow-up of >7 years. Conclusions: This large series characterized the clinical and electrophysiological features and immediate and long-term ablation outcomes for AT originating from the crista terminalis. Features of the tachycardia suggest that age-related localized remodeling of the crista terminalis causes a superficial endocardial zone of conduction slowing leading to re-entry. Ablation outcomes were good, with long-term freedom from atrial arrhythmia.
- atrial tachycardia
- crista terminalis