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Circulation. 2000 Nov 21;102(21):2619-28.

Circumferential radiofrequency ablation of pulmonary vein ostia: A new anatomic approach for curing atrial fibrillation.

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Department of Cardiology, San Raffaele University Hospital, Milan, Italy.



The pulmonary veins (PVs) and surrounding ostial areas frequently house focal triggers or reentrant circuits critical to the genesis of atrial fibrillation (AF). We developed an anatomic approach aimed at isolating each PV from the left atrium (LA) by circumferential radiofrequency (RF) lesions around their ostia.


We selected 26 patients with resistant AF, either paroxysmal (n=14) or permanent (n=12). A nonfluoroscopic mapping system was used to generate 3D electroanatomic LA maps and deliver RF energy. Two maps were acquired during coronary sinus and right atrial pacing to validate the lateral and septal PV lesions, respectively. Patients were followed up closely for >/=6 months. Procedures lasted 290+/-58 minutes, including 80+/-22 minutes for acquisition of all maps, and 118+/-16 RF pulses were deployed. Among 14 patients in AF at the beginning of the procedure, 64% had sinus rhythm restoration during ablation. PV isolation was demonstrated in 76% of 104 PVs treated by low peak-to-peak electrogram amplitude (0. 08+/-0.02 mV) inside the circular line and by disparity in activation times (58+/-11 ms) across the lesion. After 9+/-3 months, 22 patients (85%) were AF-free, including 62% not taking and 23% taking antiarrhythmic drugs, with no difference (P:=NS) between paroxysmal and permanent AF. No thromboembolic events or PV stenoses were observed by transesophageal echocardiography.


Radiofrequency PV isolation with electroanatomic guidance is safe and effective in either paroxysmal or permanent AF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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