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Efficacy, high procedural safety and rapid optimization of cryoballoon atrial fibrillation ablation in the hands of a new operator

Background: Cryoballoon (CB) ablation is successful in eliminating atrial fibrillation (AF). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess procedural efficacy and safety of CB ablation performed by a newly trained operator.

Methods: Forty patients with documented paroxysmal AF (58 ± 11 years, 26 male) undergoing CB catheter ablation were prospectively enrolled.

Results: Electrical pulmonary vein (PV) isolation was achieved in all patients (156 PVs). The primary end point (PV isolation using CB only) was reached in 31 patients (92% PV isolation, 144/156 PVs). In the remaining 9 patients (12 PVs), additional single point cryofocal ablations were required to achieve isolation of all veins (LSPV, n = 5; LIPV, n = 3; LCPV, n = 2; RSPV, n = 1; RIPV, n = 1). There was no vascular access complication, pericardial effusion/tamponade, stroke/transient ischemic attack, phrenic nerve palsy, acute PV stenosis, or atrioesophageal fistula. The procedure duration decreased with experience by 30% from 155 min during the first 10 procedures to 108 min (final 10 treatments). Similar effects were observed with fluoroscopy time (-57%; from 28 min to 12 min), dose area product (-66%; from 22 Gy x cm2 to 8 Gy x cm2), CB time in the left atrium (-24%; from 99 min to 75 min), and cryoenergy delivery time (-19%; from 83 min to 67 min), when comparing case #1-10 to case #30-40.


Conclusions: CB ablation of AF is effective and safe in the hands of a new operator. Procedure and fluoroscopy times decrease with user experience. 

Credits: Eberhard Scholz; Patrick Lugenbiel; Patrick A. Schweizer; Panagiotis Xynogalos; Claudia Seyler; Edgar Zitron; Rüdiger Becker; Hugo A. Katus; Dierk Thomas

Biosense Webster
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Introduction to AFib
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