Impact of an Empiric Isolation of the Superior Vena Cava in Addition to Circumferential Pulmonary Vein Isolation on the Outcome of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Koichiro Ejima, Ken Kato, Yuji Iwanami, Ryuta Henmi, Daigo Yagishita, Tetsuyuki Manaka, Keiko Fukushima, Kotaro Arai, Kyomi Ashihara, Morio Shoda, Nobuhisa Hagiwara
American Journal of Cardiology 2015 December 1, 116 (11): 1711-6
The safety and efficacy of an empiric superior vena cava isolation (SVCI) in addition to circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) have not been clarified. A total of 186 consecutive patients who underwent catheter ablation of PAF were included. All patients underwent a CPVI. Patients in the first half underwent an additional SVCI only if SVC-triggered AF or rapid SVC activity was observed during the procedure (n = 93, as-needed SVCI, group I), and those in the second half underwent an empirical SVCI after the CPVI (n = 93, empiric SVCI, group II). The CPVI was successfully performed in all patients. An SVCI was performed in 8 of 93 patients (9%) in group I and 81 of the 93 patients (87%) in group II. In the remaining 12 patients in group II, an SVCI was not performed because of the lack of SVC potentials. During a mean follow-up of 27 ± 12 months, the atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrence rate after a single ablation procedure in the patients in group II was lower than that in group I (44% vs 23%, p = 0.035). A Cox regression multivariate analysis demonstrated that an empiric SVCI was an independent predictor of an atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrence after a single ablation procedure (odds ratio: 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.31 to 0.999; p = 0.049). Neither sinus node injury nor any injury to the phrenic nerve was observed. In conclusion, an empiric SVCI in addition to the CPVI improved the outcome of AF ablation in patients with PAF without any additional adverse effects.

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