Long term outcome of cavotricuspid isthmus cryoablation for the treatment of common atrial flutter in 180 patients: a single center experience

Wendel Moreira, Carl Timmermans, Hein J J Wellens, Yuka Mizusawa, David Perez, Suzanne Philippens, Luz-Maria Rodriguez
Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology: An International Journal of Arrhythmias and Pacing 2008, 21 (3): 235-40

OBJECTIVE: Recent literature has shown that common type atrial flutter (AFL) can recur late after cavotricuspid isthmus (CTI) catheter ablation using radiofrequency energy (RF). We report the long term outcome of a large group of patients undergoing CTI ablation using cryothermy for AFL in a single center.

METHODS: Patients with AFL referred for CTI ablation were recruited prospectively from July 2001 to July 2006. Cryoablation was performed using a deflectable, 10.5 F, 6.5 mm tip catheter. CTI block was reassessed 30 min after the last application during isoproterenol infusion. Recurrences were evaluated by 12-lead ECG and 24 h Holter recording every clinic visit (1/3/6/9 and 12 months after the procedure and yearly thereafter) or if symptoms developed.

RESULTS: The 180 enrolled patients had the following characteristics: 39 women (22%), mean age 58 years, no structural heart disease in 86 patients (48%), mean left atrium diameter 44+/-7 mm and mean left ventricular ejection fraction 57+/-7%. The average number of applications per patient was 7 (3 to 20) with a mean temperature and duration of -88 degrees C and 3 min, respectively. Acute success was achieved in 95% (171) of the patients. There were no complications. After a mean follow-up of 27+/-17 (from 12 to 60) months, the chronic success rate was 91%. The majority of the recurrences occurred within the first year post ablation. One hundred and twenty three patients had a history of atrial fibrillation (AF) prior to CTI ablation and 85 (69%) of those remained having AF after cryoablation. In 20 of 57 (35%) patients without a history of AF prior to CTI ablation, AF occurred during follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: This prospective study showed a 91% chronic success rate (range 12 to 60 months) for cryoablation of the CTI in patients with common type AFL and ratified the frequent association of AF with AFL.

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