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Impact of Radiofrequency Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation on Pulmonary Vein Cross Sectional Area: Implications for the Diagnosis of Pulmonary Vein Stenosis


Introduction: Restoration of normal sinus rhythm by radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients can result in a reduction of left atrial (LA) volume and pulmonary vein (PV) dimensions. It is not clear if this PV size reduction represents a secondary effect of overall LA volume reduction or true PV stenosis. We assessed the relationship between LA volume reduction and PV orifice area pre- and post-RFA. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at a tertiary care academic hospital. Pre- and post-RFA cardiac computed tomography (CT) studies of 100 consecutive AF patients were reviewed. Studies identifying obvious segmental PV narrowing were excluded. Left atrial volumes and PV orifice cross-sectional areas (PVOCA) were measured using proprietary software from the CT scanner vendor (GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI). Results: The cohort had a mean age of 60 8 years, 73% were male, and 90% were Caucasian. Non-paroxysmal AF was present in 76% of patients with a mean duration from diagnosis to RFA of 55 54 months. Mean procedural time was 244 70 min. AF recurred in 27% at 3 month follow-up. Pre-RFA LA volumes were 132 60 ml and mean PVOCA was 2.89 2.32 cm2. In patients with successful ablation, mean LA volume decreased by 10% and PVOCA decreased by 21%. PVOCA was significantly reduced in patients with successful RFA compared to those who had recurrence (2.18 1.12 vs. 2.8 1.9 cm2, p = 0.04) but reduction in LA volume between groups was not significant (118 42 vs. 133 54 ml, p=0.15). Conclusions: The study demonstrates that both PV orifice dimensions and LA volume are reduced after successful AF ablation. These data warrant a reassessment of criteria for diagnosing PV stenosis based on changes in PV caliber alone, ideally incorporating LA volume changes.

Credits: Mohammad-Ali Jazayeri, Subba Reddy Vanga, Venkat Vuddanda, Mohit Turagam, Valay Parikh, Madhav Lavu, Sudharani Bommana, Donita Atkins, Jayanth Nath, Thomas Rosamond, James Vacek, Y. Madhu Reddy, Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy



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