JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Impact of biatrial defragmentation in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: results from a randomized prospective study

Jana Mareike Nührich, Daniel Steven, Imke Berner, Thomas Rostock, Boris Hoffmann, Helge Servatius, Arian Sultan, Jakob Lüker, András Treszl, Karl Wegscheider, Stephan Willems
Heart Rhythm: the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 2014, 11 (9): 1536-42
24907643

BACKGROUND: Single procedure success rates of pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) are still unsatisfactory. In patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (AF), ablation of complex fractionated atrial electrograms (CFAEs) after PVI results in improved outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate if PAF-patients with intraprocedurally sustained AF after PVI might benefit from additional CFAE ablation.

METHODS: A total of 1134 consecutive patients underwent a first catheter ablation procedure of PAF between June 2008 and December 2012. In most patients, AF was either not inducible or terminated during PVI. In 68 patients (6%), AF sustained after successful PVI. These patients were randomized to either cardioversion (PVI-alone group; n = 33) or additional CFAE ablation (PVI+CFAE group; n = 35) and followed up every 1-3 months and serial Holter recordings were also obtained. The primary end point was the recurrence of AF/atrial tachycardia (AT) after a blanking period of 3 months.

RESULTS: Procedure duration (127 ± 6 minutes vs 174 ± 10 minutes), radiofrequency application time (44 ± 3 minutes vs 74 ± 5 minutes), and fluoroscopy time (26 ± 2 minutes vs 41 ± 3 minutes) were longer in the PVI+CFAE group (all P < .001). In 30 of 35 patients (86%) in the PVI+CFAE group, ablation terminated AF. There was no significant group difference with respect to freedom from AF/AT (22 of 33 [67%] vs 22 of 35 [63%]; P = .66). Subsequently, 10 of 11 patients in the PVI-alone group (91%) and 11 of 13 patients in PVI+CFAE group (85%) underwent repeat ablation (P = 1.00). Overall, 29 of 33 [88%] vs 30 of 35 [86%] patients (P = 1.00) were free from AF/AT after 1.4 ± 0.1 vs 1.4 ± 0.2 (P = .87) procedures.

CONCLUSION: Patients with sustained AF after PVI in a PAF cohort are rare. Regarding AF/AT recurrence, these patients did not benefit from further CFAE ablation compared to PVI alone, but are exposed to longer procedure duration, fluoroscopy time, and radiofrequency application time.

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