Is empirical four pulmonary vein isolation necessary for focally triggered paroxysmal atrial fibrillation? Comparison of selective pulmonary vein isolation versus empirical four pulmonary vein isolation

Hui-Nam Pak, Jin Seok Kim, Seung Yong Shin, Hyun Soo Lee, Jong Il Choi, Hong Euy Lim, Chun Hwang, Young-Hoon Kim
Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 2008, 19 (5): 473-9

BACKGROUND: We questioned whether the empirical four pulmonary vein (PV) isolation (EmPVI) was necessary in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) triggered from clearly and reproducibly defined arrhythmogenic PVs.

METHODS: We compared the selective or ipsilateral isolation of the PVs triggering AF (SePVI: n = 42) and EmPVI (n = 35) in 77 patients (males 80.5%, mean age 53.0 +/- 13.4 years) with PAF who underwent radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA). Arrhythmogenic PVs were identified by the immediate recurrence of AF three consecutive times after cardioverting AF.

RESULTS: (1) The duration of the RF energy deliveries (P < 0.01) and total procedure time (P < 0.01) were shorter for the SePVI than the EmPVI. (2) During a mean follow-up of 38.6 +/- 23.1 months, the AF recurrence rate was 38.1% in the SePVI group and 25.7% in the EmPVI group (P = NS). (3) A redo-ablation was performed in 25 patients, and 81.0% of the recurrent arrhythmogenic foci were found at a previously ablated PV or ipsilateral PV. (4) In 15.4% of the SePVI and 20.0% of the EmPVI procedures, AF recurred after 32.5 +/- 15.2 months of the redo-ablation. Subsequently, the AF-free rate for each group was 88.1% (37/42) in the SePVI group and 91.4% (32/35) in the EmPVI group (P = NS).

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with clearly documented arrhythmogenic PVs, the SePVI of the PV triggering the AF or an ipsilateral PV had a comparable long-term success rate and shorter RF energy delivery and procedure times than the EmPVI.

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