Force-sensing catheters during pediatric radiofrequency ablation: The FEDERATION study

Aarti S. Dalal, Hoang H. Nguyen, Tammy Bowman, George F. Van Hare, Jennifer N. Avari Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background- Based on data from studies of atrial fibrillation ablations, optimal parameters for the TactiCath (TC; St. Jude Medical, Inc) force-sensing ablation catheter are a contact force of 20 g and a force-time integral of 400 g s for the creation of transmural lesions. We aimed to evaluate TC in pediatric and congenital heart disease patients undergoing ablation. Methods and Results- Comprehensive chart and case reviews were performed from June 2015 to March 2016. Of the 102 patients undergoing electrophysiology study plus ablation, 58 (57%) underwent ablation initially with a force-sensing catheter. Patients had an average age of 14 (2.4-23) years and weight of 58 (18-195) kg with 15 patients having abnormal cardiac anatomy. Electrophysiology diagnoses for the +TC group included 30 accessory pathway-mediated tachycardia, 24 atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia, and 7 other. Baseline generator settings included a power of 20 W, temperature of 40°, and 6 cc/min flow during lesion creation with 11 patients (19%) having alterations to parameters. Seventeen patients (30%) converted to an alternate ablation source. A total of 516 lesions were performed using the TC with a median contact force of 6 g, force-time integral of 149 g s, and lesion size index of 3.3. Median-term follow-up demonstrated 5 (10%) recurrences with no acute or median-term complications. Conclusions- TactiCath can be effectively employed in the treatment of pediatric patients with congenital heart disease with lower forces than previously described in the atrial fibrillation literature. Patients with atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia or atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia may not require transmural lesions and the TC may provide surrogate markers for success during slow pathway ablation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere005772
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Contact force
  • Force-sensing catheter
  • Pediatric


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