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Lesion metrics and 12-month outcomes of very-high power short duration radiofrequency ablation (90W/4 s) under mild conscious sedation.

INTRODUCTION: Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is often performed under general anaesthesia (GA) or deep sedation. Anaesthetic availability is limited in many centers, and deep sedation is prohibited in some countries without anaesthetic support. Very high-power short duration (vHPSD-90W/4 s) PVI using the Q-Dot catheter is generally well tolerated under mild conscious sedation (MCS) though an understanding of catheter stability and long-term effectiveness is lacking. We analyzed lesion metrics and 12-month freedom from atrial arrythmia with this approach.

METHODS: Our approach to radiofrequency (RF) PVI under MCS is standardized and includes a single catheter approach with a steerable sheath. We identified patients undergoing Q-Dot RF PVI between March 2021 and December 2022 in our center, comparing those undergoing vHPSD ablation under MCS (90W/MCS) against those undergoing 50 W ablation under GA (50 W/GA) up to 12 months of follow-up. Data were extracted from clinical records and the CARTO system.

RESULTS: Eighty-three patients met our inclusion criteria (51 90W/MCS; 32 50 W/GA). Despite shorter ablation times (353 vs. 886 s; p < .001), the 90 W/MCS group received more lesions (median 87 vs. 58, p < .001), resulting in similar procedure times (149.3 vs. 149.1 min; p = .981). PVI was achieved in all cases, and first pass isolation rates were similar (left wide antral circumferential ablation [WACA] 82.4% vs. 87.5%, p = .758; right WACA 74.5% vs. 78.1%, p = .796; 90 W/MCS vs. 50 W/GA respectively). Analysis of 6647 ablation lesions found similar mean impedance drops (10.0 ± 1.9 Ω vs. 10.0 ± 2.2 Ω; p = .989) and mean contact force (14.6 ± 2.0 g vs. 15.1 ± 1.6 g; p = .248). Only median 2.5% of lesions in the 90 W/MCS cohort failed to achieve ≥ 5 Ω drop. In the 90 W/MCS group, there were no procedural related complications, and 12-month freedom from atrial arrhythmia was observed in 78.4%.

CONCLUSION: vHPSD PVI is feasible under MCS, with encouraging acute and long-term procedural outcomes. This provides a compelling option for centers with limited anaesthetic support.

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