Is circumferential pulmonary vein isolation preferable to stepwise segmental pulmonary vein isolation for patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation?

Xingpeng Liu, Deyong Long, Jianzeng Dong, Fuli Hu, Ronghui Yu, Ribo Tang, Dongping Fang, Peng Hao, Chunshan Lu, Xiaoqing Liu, Xiaokui He, Xiaohui Liu, Changsheng Ma
Circulation Journal: Official Journal of the Japanese Circulation Society 2006, 70 (11): 1392-7

BACKGROUND: Stepwise segmental pulmonary vein isolation (SPVI) and circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) have been developed to treat patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), but the preferable approach for paroxysmal AF (PAF) has not been established.

METHODS AND RESULTS: One hundred and ten patients with symptomatic PAF were randomized into a stepwise SPVI group (n=55) or CPVI group (n=55). Systemic SPVI combined with left atrial linear ablation tailored by inducibility of AF was performed in the stepwise SPVI group. Circumferential linear ablation around the left and right-sided pulmonary veins (PVs) guided by 3-dimensional electroanatomic mapping was performed in the CPVI group. The endpoints of ablation are non-induciblity of AF in the stepwise SPVI group and continuity of circular lesions combined with PV isolation in the CPVI group. After the initial procedures, atrial tachyarrhythmis (ATa) recurred within the first 3 months in 23 of the 55 patients (41.8%) who underwent stepwise SPVI and in 20 of the 55 patients (36.4%) who had CPVI (p=0.69). Repeat procedures were performed in 7 patients from the stepwise SPVI group and 5 from the CPVI group (p=0.76). During the 3-9 months after the last procedure, 46 patients (83.6%) from the CPVI group and 43 (78.2%) from the stepwise SPVI group did not have symptomatic ATa while not taking anti-arrhythmic drugs (p=0.63). Severe subcutaneous hematoma or PV stenosis occurred in 3 patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of stepwise SPVI is comparable to that of CPVI for patients with PAF.

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