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Circulation. 2002 Sep 3;106(10):1256-62.

Segmental ostial ablation to isolate the pulmonary veins during atrial fibrillation: feasibility and mechanistic insights.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0022, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and mechanistic implications of segmental pulmonary vein (PV) ostial ablation during atrial fibrillation (AF).


Forty consecutive patients underwent PV isolation for AF. Among 125 PVs targeted for isolation, ablation was performed during AF in 70 veins and during sinus rhythm in 55 veins. A decapolar Lasso catheter was positioned near the ostium. During AF, ostial ablation was performed near the Lasso catheter electrodes that recorded a tachycardia with a cycle length shorter than in the adjacent left atrium. During sinus rhythm, ostial ablation was guided by PV potentials. Complete PV isolation was achieved in 70 PVs (100%) ablated during AF and in 53 PVs (96%) ablated during sinus rhythm (P=0.4). The mean durations of radiofrequency energy needed for isolation were 7.4+/-4.4 and 5.2+/-3.9 minutes during AF and sinus rhythm, respectively (P<0.01). Before ablation, an immediate recurrence of AF (IRAF), occurred after cardioversion in 18 of 40 patients, and IRAF was consistently abolished by PV isolation. The probability of AF termination during isolation of a PV was directly related to the extent of tachycardia in that vein. As more PVs were isolated, induction of persistent AF by rapid pacing became less likely.


Segmental ostial ablation guided by PV tachycardia during AF is feasible and as efficacious as during sinus rhythm. The responses to cardioversion, ablation, and rapid pacing observed in this study imply that IRAF is triggered by the PVs and that PV tachycardias may play an important role in the perpetuation of AF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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