While noninvasive techniques, including esophageal recording and pacing, clearly have advantages in the pediatric population; they also have significant limitations. Invasive electrophysiology (EP) in children now encompasses the use of many advanced engineering applications, which contribute to the efficacy of such procedures. This is particularly true with respect to the performance of radiofrequency catheter ablation. First, microcatheters (eg, Cardima) offer advantages as diagnostic catheters in small hearts, and allow pacing and recording from both atrium and ventricle in even the smallest infants using limited venous access. In addition, there is the possibility of mapping the distal coronary sinus, and the right atrioventricular groove via the right coronary artery. Second, electroanatomic mapping using the CARTO system (Biosense Webster) allows complex maps to be constructed in patients with congenital heart disease and a history of cardiac surgery. Although somewhat laborious to construct, such maps offer great detail to guide ablation, and also provide voltage information to guide identification of patches and scars. Similarly, non-contact mapping systems (eg, EnSite, Endocardial Solutions) are available which record far-field potentials and employ solutions to the inverse problem to reconstruct endocardial potentials. Three-dimensional mapping based on a single beat is possible, and the success of ablation in creating conduction block in unique channels can be evaluated. Both of these three-dimensional mapping systems have the potential to improve outcomes in patients with complex disease undergoing ablation. Finally, patients are now undergoing combined procedures with interventional catheterization (eg, device closure, stenting) along with EP procedures (eg, ablation, device implant) in the same laboratory session. The state of the art in invasive pediatric EP increasingly involves the use of advanced technology adapted for use in pediatric and congenital heart disease applications.
- Electrophysiology study
- Heart defects