Atrial fibrillation remains the most common arrhythmia worldwide, with pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) being an essential component in the treatment of this arrhythmia. In view of the close proximity of the oesophagus with the posterior wall of the left atrium, oesophageal injury prevention has become a major concern during PVI procedures. Oesophageal changes varying from erythema to fistulas have been reported, with atrio-oesophageal fistulas being the most feared as they are associated with major morbidity and mortality. This review article provides a detailed description of the risk factors associated with oesophageal injury during ablation, along with an overview of the currently available techniques to prevent oesophageal injury. We expect that this state of the art review will deliver the tools to help electrophysiologists prevent potential oesophageal injuries, as well as increase the focus on research areas in which evidence is lacking.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Oesophageal injury
- Pulmonary vein isolation
- Transoesophageal echocardiogram
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)