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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2008 Sep;19(9):897-903. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2008.01145.x. Epub 2008 Mar 28.

Automatic 3D mapping of complex fractionated atrial electrograms (CFAE) in patients with paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation.

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Deutsches Herzzentrum München and 1. Medizinische Klinik, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.



Complex fractionated atrial electrograms (CFAE) are a possible target for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation and can be visualized in three-dimensional (3D) mapping systems with specialized software.


To use the new CFAE software of CartoXP (Biosense Webster, Diamond Bar, CA, USA) for analysis of spatial distribution of CFAE in paroxysmal and persistent AF.


We included 16 consecutive patients (6 females; mean 59.3 years) with AF (6 paroxysmal and 10 persistent) undergoing AF ablation. Carto maps of left atrium (LA) were reconstructed. Using the new CFAE software, the degree of local electrogram fractionation was displayed color-coded on the map surface. LA was divided into four regions: anterior wall, inferior wall, septum, and pulmonary veins (PV). The relationship among regions with CFAE visualized and CFAE ablation regions (persistent AF only) was analyzed retrospectively.


In paroxysmal and persistent AF, CFAE were observed in all four LA regions. In paroxysmal AF, the density of CFAE around the PV was significantly higher than in other regions (P < 0.05) and higher than in persistent AF (P < 0.05). In persistent AF, CFAE were evenly distributed all over the LA. Of 40 effective ablation sites with significant AF cycle length prolongation, 33 (82.5%) were judged retrospectively by CFAE map as CFAE sites.


CFAE software can visualize the spatial distribution of CFAE in AF. CFAE in persistent AF were observed in more regions of LA compared to paroxysmal AF in which CFAE concentrated on the PV. Automatically detected CFAE match well with ablation sites targeted by operators.

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