Nonfiuoroscopic transseptal catheterization: Safety and efficacy of intracardiac echocardiographic guidance

Laurence M. Epstein, Timothy Smith, Harm Tenhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Scopus citations


Introduction: Recently, there has been a revival in the use of transseptal catheterization due to the development of balloon mitral valvulo- plasty and radiofrequency catheter ablation. Complications of transseptal puncture, although rare, can be serious and life-threatening. In the present study, we evaluated the use of intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) as the sole imaging modality to guide transseptal puncture and catheterization. Methods and Results: In each animal, 10 transseptal punctures were performed guided solely by ICE. The standard approach to transseptal catheterization using a Brockenbrough needle and long vascular sheath was used except for the use of ICE instead of fluoroscopy. A 6,2-French/12.5-MHz and 9-French/9-MHz ICE catheter was used for imaging. At the end of each study, pathologic evaluation was performed. Transseptal puncture was performed safely, guided solely, in each of 100 attempts (five attempts guided by each ICE catheter in 10 dogs). While the fossa ovalis was easily visualized with both ICE catheters, the 9-French/9-MHz catheter offered an enhanced field of view. On pathologic evaluation, there was no evidence of perforation of either the right or left atrium outside of the fossa ovalis. Conclusion: Both ICE catheters used in this trial allowed for excellent visualization of the fossa ovalis and safe transseptal puncture. Intracardiac echocardiography may be a better imaging modality than fluoroscopy for guiding transseptal catheterization, especially in less experienced hands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Intracardiac echocardiography
  • Transseptal catheterization
  • Ultrasound

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