Real-time dominant frequency mapping and ablation of dominant frequency sites in atrial fibrillation with left-to-right frequency gradients predicts long-term maintenance of sinus rhythm

Felipe Atienza, Jesús Almendral, José Jalife, Sharon Zlochiver, Robert Ploutz-Snyder, Esteban G Torrecilla, Angel Arenal, Jérôme Kalifa, Francisco Fernández-Avilés, Omer Berenfeld
Heart Rhythm: the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 2009, 6 (1): 33-40

BACKGROUND: Spectral analysis identifies localized sites of high-frequency activity during atrial fibrillation (AF).

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to determine the effectiveness of using real-time dominant frequency (DF) mapping for radiofrequency ablation of maximal DF (DFmax) sites and elimination of left-to-right frequency gradients in the long-term maintenance of sinus rhythm (SR) in AF patients.

METHODS: DF mapping was performed in 50 patients during ongoing AF (32 paroxysmal, 18 persistent), acquiring a mean of 117 +/- 38 points. Ablation was performed targeting DFmax sites, followed by circumferential pulmonary vein isolation.

RESULTS: Ablation significantly reduced DFs (Hz) in the LA (7.9 +/- 1.4 vs. 5.7 +/- 1.3, P <.001), coronary sinus (CS) (5.7 +/- 1.1 vs. 5.3 +/- 1.2, P = .006), and RA (6.3 +/- 1.4 vs. 5.4 +/- 1.3, P <.001) abolishing baseline left-to-right atrial DF gradient (1.7 +/- 1.7 vs. 0.2 +/- 0.9; P <.001). Only a significant reduction in DFs in all chambers with a loss of the left-to-right atrial gradient after ablation was associated with a higher probability of long-term SR maintenance in both paroxysmal and persistent AF patients. After a mean follow-up of 9.3 +/- 5.4 months, 88% of paroxysmal and 56% of persistent AF patients were free of AF (P = .02). Ablation of DFmax sites was associated with a higher probability of remaining both free of arrhythmias (78% vs. 20%; P = .001) and free of AF (88% vs. 30%; P <.001).

CONCLUSION: Radiofrequency ablation leading to elimination of LA-to-RA frequency gradients predicts long-term SR maintenance in AF patients.

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