Catheter ablation has emerged
as a practical approach for treatment of symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF)
in those who fail membrane-stabilizing antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) therapy1.
AF ablation has been shown to improve patient quality of life2 and
reduce hospital readmission3. Additionally, the observed benefits even
persist in patients in whom complete freedom from AF cannot be achieved2.
As the role for catheter ablation in the management of AF has evolved within
the last 2 decades, so have the ablative techniques and strategies. To date, a variety
of energy modalities have been utilized for catheter ablation of AF including
unipolar radiofrequency (RF)4, irrigated5 and
non-irrigated bipolar RF6, laser7, cryothermy8,
and high-intensity focused ultrasound9. While the long-term
safety and efficacy of RF energy has rendered it the mainstay of arrhythmia ablation
therapy, there are certain practical and theoretical advantages to using cryoenergy.
Credits: Arash Aryana; Mark R. Bowers; Padraig Gearoid O’Neill.