High-resolution mapping of the triangle of Koch: Spatial heterogeneity of fast pathway atrionodal connections

Kelvin Chua, Gaurav A. Upadhyay, Elliot Lee, Zaid Aziz, Andrew D. Beaser, Cevher Ozcan, Michael Broman, Hemal M. Nayak, Roderick Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Dedicated mapping studies of the triangle of Koch to characterize retrograde fast pathway activation have not been previously performed using high-resolution, 3-dimensional, multielectrode mapping technology. Objective: To delineate the activation pattern and spatial distribution of the retrograde fast pathway within the triangle of Koch during typical atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) and right ventricular pacing in a consecutive series of patients using the Rhythmia mapping system (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA). Methods: A total of 18 patients with symptomatic typical AVNRT referred for ablation underwent ultra high-density mapping of atrial activation with minielectrode basket configuration during tachycardia. The earliest atrial activation was mapped using automated annotation, with manual overreading by 2 independent observers. The triangle of Koch was classified into 3 anatomic regions: anteroseptal (His), midseptal, and posteroseptal (coronary sinus roof). Thirteen patients underwent mapping of atrial activation during ventricular pacing. Results: A median of 422 mapping points (interquartile range 258–896 points) was acquired within the triangle of Koch during tachycardia. The most common site of earliest atrial activation within the triangle of Koch was anterior in 67% of patients (n = 12). Midseptal early atrial activation was seen in 17% (n = 3), and posteroseptal activation was observed in 11% (n = 2). One patient exhibited broad simultaneous activation of the entire triangle of Koch. Slow pathway potentials were not identified. Conclusions: With high-resolution multielectrode mapping, atrial activation during typical AVNRT exhibited anatomic variability and spatially heterogeneous activation within the triangle of Koch. These findings highlight the limitations of an anatomically based classification of atrioventricular nodal retrograde pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • AV nodal physiology
  • AV nodal reentry
  • AV node
  • Fast pathway
  • Mapping
  • Multielectrode
  • Supraventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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