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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2011 May;34(5):531-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8159.2010.02990.x. Epub 2011 Jan 5.

Atrial fibrillation ablation: "perpetual motion" of open irrigated tip catheters at 50 W is safe and improves outcomes.

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Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiac Arrhythmias, East Palo Alto, California, and Sequoia Hospital, Redwood City, California, USA.



Point-by-point use of open irrigated tip catheters (OITCs) at 50 W increases atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation cure rates but also increases complications. We determined if constantly moving the OITC (perpetual motion) when using 50 W increases ablation cure rates without increasing complications.


We evaluated procedural data, complications, and individual procedure cure rates (IPCRs) for AF ablation using closed tip catheters (CTC) versus OITC at 40, 45, and 50 W in 1,122 ablations. We used "perpetual motion" to move the OITC at 50 W every 3-10 seconds.


The OITC showed higher IPCR than CTC at 45 W (P = 0.012) and 50 W (P < 0.0005). For the OITC, IPCR increased from 44.6% to 60.7% as power increased from 40 to 50 W (P = 0.008). The OITC appeared superior to the CTC for all types of AF. For paroxysmal AF, increasing OITC power from 40 to 50 W provided no increase in IPCR (70.6% vs 71.2%, P = 0.827). For persistent AF, increasing power from 40 to 50 W increased IPCR from 34.5% to 59.5% (P = 0.001). Complications were similar for the CTC and the OITC at any power. The OITC at 50 W had shorter procedure, left atrial, and fluoroscopy times (P < 0.0005).


Increasing OITC power from 40 to 50 W increases IPCR with no increase in complications as long as the 50 W setting is done using "perpetual motion." The OITC 50 W power setting results in shorter procedure and fluoroscopy times and should be considered for AF ablations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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