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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Aug 14;60(7):628-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.05.022. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Treatment of atrial fibrillation by the ablation of localized sources: CONFIRM (Conventional Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation With or Without Focal Impulse and Rotor Modulation) trial.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, California 92161, USA. snarayan@ucsd.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We hypothesized that human atrial fibrillation (AF) may be sustained by localized sources (electrical rotors and focal impulses), whose elimination (focal impulse and rotor modulation [FIRM]) may improve outcome from AF ablation.

BACKGROUND:

Catheter ablation for AF is a promising therapy, whose success is limited in part by uncertainty in the mechanisms that sustain AF. We developed a computational approach to map whether AF is sustained by several meandering waves (the prevailing hypothesis) or localized sources, then prospectively tested whether targeting patient-specific mechanisms revealed by mapping would improve AF ablation outcome.

METHODS:

We recruited 92 subjects during 107 consecutive ablation procedures for paroxysmal or persistent (72%) AF. Cases were prospectively treated, in a 2-arm 1:2 design, by ablation at sources (FIRM-guided) followed by conventional ablation (n = 36), or conventional ablation alone (n = 71; FIRM-blinded).

RESULTS:

Localized rotors or focal impulses were detected in 98 (97%) of 101 cases with sustained AF, each exhibiting 2.1 ± 1.0 sources. The acute endpoint (AF termination or consistent slowing) was achieved in 86% of FIRM-guided cases versus 20% of FIRM-blinded cases (p < 0.001). FIRM ablation alone at the primary source terminated AF in a median 2.5 min (interquartile range: 1.0 to 3.1 min). Total ablation time did not differ between groups (57.8 ± 22.8 min vs. 52.1 ± 17.8 min, p = 0.16). During a median 273 days (interquartile range: 132 to 681 days) after a single procedure, FIRM-guided cases had higher freedom from AF (82.4% vs. 44.9%; p < 0.001) after a single procedure than FIRM-blinded cases with rigorous, often implanted, electrocardiography monitoring. Adverse events did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Localized electrical rotors and focal impulse sources are prevalent sustaining mechanisms for human AF. FIRM ablation at patient-specific sources acutely terminated or slowed AF, and improved outcome. These results offer a novel mechanistic framework and treatment paradigm for AF. (Conventional Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation With or Without Focal Impulse and Rotor Modulation [CONFIRM]; NCT01008722).

PMID:
22818076
PMCID:
PMC3416917
DOI:
10.1016/j.jacc.2012.05.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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