- Chronic oral anticoagulation (OAC) has traditionally been considered as the most effective prophylaxis against thromboembolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, as many as 20% of the patients with AF are not candidates for OAC.1,2 Reasons for ineligibility range from intracranial bleeding (the most serious complication) to increased propensity for mechanical injury (the least serious complication). The resumption of OAC in patients who have suffered a life-threatening complication due to OAC is associated with a much higher risk of such events in the future.
- AF is often found in association with an ASD.1–4 There are an increasing number of patients undergoing transcatheter closure of an ASD who subsequently develop AF in clinical practice.2–4 Catheter ablation has emerged as an effective treatment strategy for drug-refractory symptomatic AF.5 While transseptal access to the left atrium (LA) is a prerequisite for AF ablation, it may prove difficult in the presence of an ASD closure device.6,7 Anticipating technical difficulties and potential complications may discourage operators from considering catheter ablation of AF in this particular patient population.
- This article describes our current practice, clinical outcomes, and future directions for the use of balloon cryoablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
- Sophisticated imaging methods have been growing in popularity since the introduction of curative ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation (AF). This trend is predicated on the need for a precise anatomic guidance within the complex left atrial (LA) anatomy and less reliance on electrocardiographic characteristics of the substrate. Traditional two-dimensional imaging methods such as fluoroscopy would not satisfy the needs of a complex catheter navigation inside three-dimensional (3D) anatomic structures that may not be confined to the radiographic cardiac silhouette (e.g., pulmonary veins [PVs]).