Pulmonary vein stenosis is a rare but serious complication of pulmonary vein isolation to treat atrial fibrillation. Pulmonary vein angioplasty/stenting has emerged as the treatment of choice for significantly stenotic veins. Guidelines for post ablation evaluation of the pulmonary veins, including the timing and method of surveillance for possible stenosis, the criteria for intervention, the technical aspects of intervention, and finally the surveillance post intervention, are still being developed. The relatively high rate of restenosis after intervention in a subset of patients remains a great challenge. A better understanding of the pathophysiology underlying this syndrome is needed to appropriately answer many of the remaining questions. The goal of this manuscript is to describe what has been learned about this complication and its treatment from a relatively large experience in a single institution over the past decade, and provide a comprehensive review of the existing literature in order to shed as much light on the subject as is possible, while at the same time exposing the areas that need further study.
Credits: Lourdes R. Prieto, MD