Pulmonary vein reconnection following cryo-ablation: Mind the "Gap" in the carinae and the left atrial appendage ridge.

Affiliation

First and Third Department of Cardiology, Athens University School of Medicine, Athens, Greece. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation (PVI) remains cornerstone to ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). For effective and durable PVI and thus fewer AF recurrences, lesion gaps in transmurality and contiguity responsible for PV reconnection (PVR) could only be addressed when one is cognizant of the potential location and sites where these lesion characteristics may be more prevalent and responsible for PVR. In the case of RF ablation, newer technologies incorporating contact force, time and power with automated monitoring of lesion formation, paying attention to difficult areas (carinae, left superior PV-LAA ridge, right inferior PV) and measuring inter-lesion distance may provide the tools to reduce PVR. On the other hand, the improved thermodynamic characteristics of the latest generation of cryoballloons and operator dexterity to achieve better PV occlusion, may be crucial determinants towards the direction of reduced PVR. Whether newer visualization tools, more vigilant testing during the index ablation procedure in these particular regions, prolonging or adding cryothermic applications, waiting longer to test for entrance and exit block, and/or use of provocative drug testing (isoproterenol/adenosine challenge) might help prevent future PVRs awaits further studies.

Keywords

Atrial fibrillation,Carina,Catheter ablation,Cryoballoon,Cryothermic ablation,Pulmonary vein isolation,Pulmonary vein reconnection,Pulmonary veins,Radiofrequency ablation,

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