Since its original description in 1994, alcohol septal ablation (ASA) has emerged as a minimally invasive modality for treatment of hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy compared to surgical myomectomy. This catheter-based intervention relies on the injection of absolute alcohol into the septal perforator to induce a controlled infarction of the hypertrophied septum and consequently abolish the dynamic outflow obstruction. This gradient reduction has been correlated with a significant clinical improvement in the patients symptomatology and with left ventricular remodeling. The procedure has been refined throughout the years, especially with the introduction of myocardial contrast echocardiography for localization of the area at risk of infarction and the reduction in the amount of alcohol used. Major complications of ASA are uncommon in large referral centers but conduction system disturbances has been the most commonly reported complications of ASA with 10% of patients necessitating permanent pacemaker implantation for complete heart block. ASA has not been compared to the gold standard surgical myomectomy in a randomized prospective study. We review the clinical aspects of this procedure and provide some historical background.
Keywords: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, left ventricular outflow obstruction, alcohol ablation
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