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Circulation. 2004 Nov 2;110(18):2797-801. Epub 2004 Oct 25.

Noninducibility of atrial fibrillation as an end point of left atrial circumferential ablation for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: a randomized study.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. oralh@umich.edu



An anatomic approach of left atrial radiofrequency circumferential ablation (LACA) to encircle the pulmonary veins is often effective in eliminating paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). However, no electrophysiological end points other than voltage abatement and/or conduction slowing or block across ablation lines have been used. It has been unclear whether noninducibility of AF is a clinically useful end point.


In 100 patients with paroxysmal AF (mean age, 55+/-10 years), LACA to encircle the left- and right-sided pulmonary veins was performed during AF, with additional ablation lines in the posterior left atrium and mitral isthmus, with an 8-mm-tip catheter. After completion of this lesion set, sinus rhythm was present, and AF lasting >60 seconds was not inducible in 40 patients (40%; group 1). The 60 patients in whom AF was still present or who still had inducible AF were randomly assigned to no further ablation (group 2; 30 patients) or to additional ablation lines along the left atrial septum, roof, and/or anterior wall where there were fractionated electrograms (group 3; 30 patients). In group 3, AF was rendered noninducible in 27 of 30 patients (90%). At a 6-month follow-up, 67% of patients in group 2 were free of AF without drug therapy compared with 86% of patients in group 3. (P=0.05, log-rank test). Left atrial flutter occurred in 17% and 27% of patients in each group, respectively (P=0.3).


After LACA in patients with paroxysmal AF, AF usually can be rendered noninducible by additional ablation at sites of fractionated electrograms. Noninducibility of AF attained by additional electrogram-guided left atrial ablation may be associated with a better midterm clinical outcome than when AF is still inducible after LACA alone.

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