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Role of Intracardiac echocardiography in Atrial Fibrillation Ablation


In the recent years, several new evidences support catheter-based ablation as a treatment modality of atrial fibrillation (AF). Based on a plenty of different applications, intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) is now a well-established technology in complex electrophysiological procedures, in particular in AF ablation. ICE contributes to improve the efficacy and safety of such procedures defining the anatomical structures involved in ablation procedures and monitoring in real time possible complications. In particular ICE allows: a correct identification of the endocardial structures; a guidance of transseptal puncture; an assessment of accurate placement of the circular mapping catheter; an indirect evaluation of evolving lesions during radiofrequency (RF) energy delivery via visualization of micro and macrobubbles tissue heating; assessment of catheter contact with cardiac tissues. Recently, also the feasibility of the integration of electroanatomical mapping (EAM) and intracardiac echocardiography has been demonstrated, combining accurate real time anatomical information with electroanatomical data. As a matter of fact, different techniques and ablation strategies have been developed throughout the years. In the setting of balloon-based ablation systems, recently adopted by an increasing number of centers, ICE might have a role in the choice of appropriate balloon size and to confirm accurate occlusion of pulmonary veins. Furthermore, in the era of minimally fluoroscopic ablation, ICE has successfully provided a contribute in reducing fluoroscopy time. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current applications of ICE in catheter based ablation strategies of atrial fibrillation, focusing-on electronically phased-array ICE.

Credits: Antonio Dello Russo, MD PhD; Eleonora Russo, MD; Gaetano Fassini, MD; Michela Casella, MD PhD; Ester Innocenti, MD; Martina Zucchetti, MD; Claudia Cefaluí, MD; Francesco Solimene, MD; Gaetano Mottola, MD; Daniele Colombo, MD; Fabrizio Bologna, MD; Benedetta Majocchi, MD; Pasquale Santangeli, MD; Stefania Riva, MD; Luigi Di Biase, MD, PhD; Cesare Fiorentini, MD; Claudio Tondo, MD PhD



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Introduction to AFib
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