The role of left atrial muscular bundles in catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation

Shih-Lin Chang, Ching-Tai Tai, Yenn-Jiang Lin, Wanwarang Wongcharoen, Li-Wei Lo, Kun-Tai Lee, Sheng-Hsiung Chang, Ta-Chuan Tuan, Yi-Jen Chen, Ming-Hsiung Hsieh, Hsuan-Ming Tsao, Mei-Han Wu, Ming-Huei Sheu, Cheng-Yen Chang, Shih-Ann Chen
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2007 September 4, 50 (10): 964-73

OBJECTIVES: We sought to investigate the imaging of the left atrial (LA) muscular bundle and the relationship between the bundle and inducibility of tachyarrhythmia after pulmonary vein isolation (PVI).

BACKGROUND: Noninducibility is used as a clinical end point of atrial substrate ablation after PVI. However, little is known about the role of the LA muscular bundles in tachyarrhythmia after PVI.

METHODS: Forty-three consecutive patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation who underwent catheter ablation were included. Bi-atrial isochronal mapping was performed with the NavX system (St. Jude Medical Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota) during sinus rhythm. After 4 PVI, inducible organized LA flutter with or without transforming to atrial fibrillation (AF) (LA flutter/AF) was ablated with additional lines at the roof and/or mitral isthmus.

RESULTS: The existence of bilateral muscular bundles was an independent predictor of LA flutter/AF after PVI (p = 0.02). Patients with LA flutter/AF after PVI had a greater index of the double potentials (5.4 +/- 3.4% vs. 2.8 +/- 1.8%, p = 0.006) and interpotential interval (33 +/- 5 ms vs. 29 +/- 4 ms, p = 0.02) than without LA flutter/AF. The muscular bundles were identified in 28% patients using 16-slice multidetector computed tomography, which were identical to the isochrone map. Patients with noninducible LA flutter/AF after PVI plus the additional linear ablation had a lower recurrence rate as compared with the patients without it (19% vs. 75%, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Left atrial muscular bundles may provide a conduction block line and barrier, which is important for the formation of LA flutter/AF after PVI. The noninducibility of LA flutter/AF achieved after additional linear ablation may contribute to a better outcome in RF ablation of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

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