Anti-atrial Fibrillation Effects of Pulmonary Vein Isolation With or Without Ablation Gaps: A Computational Modeling Study

Ze Jin, Inseok Hwang, Byounghyun Lim, Oh Seok Kwon, Je Wook Park, Hee Tae Yu, Tae Hoon Kim, Boyoung Joung, Moon Hyoung Lee, Hui Nam Pak

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) gaps contribute to recurrence after atrial fibrillation (AF) catheter ablation, the mechanism is unclear. We used realistic computational human AF modeling to explore the AF wave-dynamic changes of PVI with gaps (PVI-gaps). Methods: We included 40 patients (80% male, 61.0 ± 9.8 years old, 92.5% persistent AF) who underwent AF catheter ablation to develop our realistic computational AF model. We compared the effects of a complete PVI (CPVI) and PVI-gap (2-mm × 4) on the AF wave-dynamics by evaluating the dominant frequency (DF), spatial change of DF, maximal slope of the action potential duration restitution curve (Smax), and AF defragmentation rate (termination or change to atrial tachycardia), and tested the effects of additional virtual interventions and flecainide on ongoing AF with PVI-gaps. Results: Compared with the baseline AF, CPVIs significantly reduced extra-PV DFs (p < 0.001), but PVI-gaps did not. COV-DFs were greater after CPVIs than PVI-gaps (p < 0.001). Neither CPVIs nor PVI-gaps changed the mean Smax. CPVIs resulted in higher AF defragmentation rates (80%) than PVI-gaps (12.5%, p < 0.001). In ongoing AF after PVI-gaps, the AF defragmentation rates after a wave-breaking gap ablation, extra-PV DF ablation, or flecainide were 60.0, 34.3, and 25.7%, respectively (p = 0.010). Conclusion: CPVIs effectively reduced the DF, increased its spatial heterogeneity in extra-PV areas, and offered better anti-AF effects than extra-PV DF ablation or additional flecainide in PVI-gap conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number846620
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 17

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants (HI19C0114) and (H21C0011) from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and grants (NRF-2020R1A2B01001695) and (NRF-2019R1C1C1009075) from the Basic Science Research Program run by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), which is funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MSIP).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Jin, Hwang, Lim, Kwon, Park, Yu, Kim, Joung, Lee and Pak.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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