- 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]).
- Percutaneous atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation using catheter-delivered radiofrequency energy continues to improve in safety and effectiveness. Nonetheless, the potential risk of esophageal injury often limits the ability to fully ablate the posterior portion of the left atrium to achieve optimal procedural success without complications. We present a comprehensive approach that addresses this challenge. Our ablative strategies include (1) identifying the esophagus to minimize ablative energy, when possible, in the proximity of the esophagus, (2) maximize the ability of the esophagus to remove heat and to heal from potential thermal injury, and (3) optimizing energy delivery to avoid deep tissue injury while maintaining procedural efficacy.
- Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a particularly complex arrhythmia because the mechanisms leading to fibrillation are not fully understood. Accordingly, ablation strategies have evolved largely on an empirical basis. The creation of linear lesions is a fundamental strategy that is indispensable to an electrophysiology laboratory performing ablation for treatment of this arrhythmia.
- With the rapid evolution of atrial fibrillation ablation procedures, electrophysiologists have necessarily strived for simple and anatomic-based approaches. In all except the most straightforward procedures, however, questions regarding the significance of various potentials recorded on mapping and ablation catheters arise.1,2 Other articles in this series have described in detail the various approaches to atrial fibrillation ablation. In this article, the anatomic and electrophysiologic bases for pacing maneuvers used with a variety of ablation approaches are reviewed.
- Studies have demonstrated that myocardium surrounding pulmonary vein (PV) ostia plays an important role in the initiation and perpetuation of atrial fibrillation (AF).1,2 This important finding has led to the development of segmental PV ostial isolation, circumferential ablation, and isolation around the PVs using circular linear lesions guided by three-dimensional (3D) electroanatomic mapping. Substrate modification using limited linear ablation also has been demonstrated to improve the clinical outcome after PV isolation in patients with AF inducibility.
- Seminal observations by Haissaguerre et al1 demonstrating initiation of atrial fibrillation (AF) by pulmonary vein (PV) depolarizations led to the development of percutaneous catheter-based endocardial AF ablation procedure. Since its original description, the AF ablation procedure has evolved considerably. Currently, the most accepted ablation strategy involves creating circumferential radiofrequency (RF) ablation lesions around PV ostia (either individually or encircling wide areas around the left-sided and right-sided veins) with or without additional atrial lesions.