Comparison between anatomical and integrated approaches to atrial fibrillation ablation: adjunctive role of electrical pulmonary vein disconnection

Roberto Mantovan, Roberto Verlato, Vittorio Calzolari, Stella Baccillieri, Alessandro De Leo, Pietro Turrini, Giovanni Pastore, Martino Crosato, Angelo Ramondo, Paolo Stritoni
Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 2005, 16 (12): 1293-7

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of anatomical pulmonary vein (PV) radiofrequency (RF) ablation with that of an integrated approach (anatomical with electrophysiological confirmation of PV disconnection).

METHODS: Sixty consecutive patients affected by drug-refractory paroxysmal (39), persistent (13), and permanent (8) atrial fibrillation (AF) were assigned to an anatomical (group A: 30 patients; 25 male, 5 female, mean age: 55 +/- 7 years) or integrated approach (group B: 30 patients; 26 male, 4 female, mean age: 52 +/- 9 years). In all cases, RF ablation was performed by means of the Carto system in order to anatomically create circumferential lines around PVs. In group B, the persistence of PV potentials was then assessed with a multipolar circular catheter. If PV potentials persisted, RF pulses targeting the electrophysiological breakthroughs were delivered to disconnect PVs.

RESULTS: Total procedure duration, fluoroscopy time, and RF delivery time were similar in both groups: 227 +/- 43, 50 +/- 23, and 43 +/- 16 minutes (group A); 232 +/- 32, 55 +/- 15, and 42 +/- 10 minutes (group B), respectively (ns). One asymptomatic PV stenosis and one pericardial effusion occurred in group A and B, respectively. After 15.4 +/- 7.4 months, 17 (57%) group A patients and 25 (83%) group B patients were in stable sinus rhythm (P = 0.02) (RR 1.78; 95% CI: 1.7-2.9).

CONCLUSIONS: PV ablation by means of an integrated anatomical and electrophysiological approach seems more effective than a purely anatomical RF ablation approach. Electrophysiological confirmation of PV disconnection could be a useful marker of successful RF treatment of AF.

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