Background: Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) in conjunction with isolation of the posterior left atrial wall (PVI+PWI) is associated with improved clinical outcomes in certain patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Objective: The purpose of this multicenter study was to evaluate the acute and long-term outcomes of PVI+PWI vs PVI alone performed using cryoballoon ablation in patients with persistent AF (persAF). Methods: We examined the procedural safety and efficacy and short- and long-term outcomes in 390 consecutive patients with persAF who underwent a first-time cryoballoon ablation procedure using PVI+PWI (n = 222 [56.9%]) vs PVI alone (n = 168 [43.1%]). Results: Acute isolation was achieved in 99.7% of all pulmonary veins (PVI+PWI = 99.8% vs PVI alone = 99.3%; P =.23) using 6.3 ± 1.4 applications and 17 ± 2 minutes of cryoablation. PWI was achieved using 13.7 ± 3.2 applications and 34 ± 10 minutes of cryoablation. Adjunct radiofrequency ablation was required in 1.8% of patients to complete PVI (4 ± 2 minutes) and in 32.4% to complete PWI (5 ± 2 minutes). PVI+PWI yielded significantly greater posterior wall (77.2% ± 6.4% vs 40.6% ± 4.9%; P <.001) and total left atrial (53.3% ± 4.2% vs 36.3% ± 3.8%; P <.001) isolation. In addition, PVI+PWI was associated with greater AF termination (19.8% vs 8.9%; P =.003) and conversion to atrial flutters (12.2% vs 5.4%; P =.02). Adverse events were similar in both groups, whereas recurrence of AF and all atrial arrhythmias was lower with PVI+PWI at 12 months of follow-up. Moreover, in a Cox regression analysis, PVI+PWI emerged as a significant predictor of freedom from recurrent atrial arrhythmias (hazard ratio: 2.04; 95% confidence interval: 1.15–3.61; P =.015). Conclusion: PVI+PWI can be achieved safely and effectively using the cryoballoon. This approach appears superior to PVI alone in patients with persAF.
- Catheter ablation
- Persistent atrial fibrillation
- Posterior wall isolation
- Pulmonary vein isolation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)