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Heart Rhythm. 2012 Feb;9(2):189-96. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2011.09.017. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Cellular damage, platelet activation, and inflammatory response after pulmonary vein isolation: a randomized study comparing radiofrequency ablation with cryoablation.

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Herz-Zentrum Bad Krozingen, Bad Krozingen, Germany.



Experimental data suggest that use of cryoablation in pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is associated with less cell damage and less thrombus formation compared to radiofrequency (RF) energy.


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that cryoablation significantly reduces markers of cell damage, platelet activation, and inflammation in patients undergoing PVI for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF).


Sixty patients with symptomatic drug-resistant AF (age 56 ± 9 years, 48 males, 38 with paroxysmal AF) were randomly assigned to undergo PVI using either an open irrigated-tip RF catheter or a cryoballoon. Markers of cell damage (high-sensitive troponin T [hs-TnT], microparticles), platelet activation (platelet reactivity by aggregometry, expression of platelet surface proteins P-selectin and activated glycoprotein [GP] IIb/IIIa), and inflammatory response (high-sensitive C-reactive protein [hs-CRP]) were determined before and up to 48 hours after the procedure.


PVI resulted in a significant rise in hs-TnT, microparticles, markers of platelet activation, and hs-CRP over time, with distinct temporal patterns for each parameter. However, after Bonferroni correction for repeated measurements, no significant differences were noted in these parameters between patients treated with cryoablation or RF energy. Procedural time was significantly shorter in patients treated with cryoballoon (177 ± 30 minutes vs 200 ± 46 minutes, P = .03), with no differences in fluoroscopic time, periprocedural complications, or success rate.


Cryoablation and RF energy result in a comparable rise of markers of cell damage, platelet activation and inflammatory response. The data do not support the concept of an improved safety profile for cryoablation in PVI.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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