Background Whether routine transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in addition to multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) has incremental value in preventing periprocedural stroke before atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation is unclear. Objective The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether screening with MDCT is sufficient for preventing periprocedural stroke. Methods From 4 tertiary centers, we enrolled 1147 patients (902 males, age 57 ± 11 years) with optimal anticoagulation and preserved left ventricular ejection function who had undergone MDCT and routine TEE (group 1, n = 678) or selective TEE (group 2, n = 469) as screening tests before AF ablation. Based on a propensity score analysis, 2 groups with 412 matched pairs were created. Results Patient baseline characteristics were comparable between the matched groups. In group 1 (n = 412), thrombi were detected in 4 patients (1.0%) on TEE, and ablation was not performed. These patients also showed thrombi (n = 3) or blood stasis (n = 1) on MDCT. For thrombi detection, MDCT had sensitivity and negative predictive value of 100%. In group 2 (n = 412), thrombi were detected in 7 patients (1.7%) on MDCT. Of these patients, 2 (0.5%) also showed thrombi on TEE. Periprocedural stroke incidence did not differ between the groups (0.2% each, P = 1.0). Conclusion The incidence of periprocedural stroke was low and did not differ significantly between the group assigned to routine TEE vs selective TEE screening in AF patients undergoing anticoagulation therapy if the patients had conditions associated with low thrombus risk. Thus, preprocedural TEE may not be necessary before AF ablation in patients who have undergone preprocedural cardiac MDCT that shows no evidence of left atrial appendage thrombus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)