Trends and outcome of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation over 9 years: Focus on empirical extra-pulmonary vein ablation

Je Wook Park, Hee Tae Yu, Tae Hoon Kim, Jae Sun Uhm, Jong Youn Kim, Boyoung Joung, Moon Hyoung Lee, Hui Nam Pak

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Substrate and Trigger Ablation for Reduction of Atrial Fibrillation Trial Part II (STAR-AF2) emphasized the importance of circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) during AF ablation. Methods and Results: This study involved 2,297 consecutive patients (mean age, 58±11 years; 73.1% male, 70.1% paroxysmal AF) undergoing AF ablation from 2009 to 2017. We investigated the ablation lesion set, ablation time, catheter type, and clinical outcomes. Over the 9 years, the extra-pulmonary vein (PV) left atrial (LA) ablation rate (76.8% to 19.4%, P<0.001 for trend) and ablation time (P<0.001 for trend) decreased dramatically, whereas the 1-year recurrence rates decreased (21.8% to 14.1%, P=0.04 for trend). In persistent AF patients, the extra-PV LA ablation rate (91.4% to 55.3%, P<0.001) and ablation time (P<0.001) decreased after the STAR-AF2 report, but the 1-year recurrence rates remained similar (22.1% to 17.9%, P=0.281). A mesh-type flexible tip (MFT) catheter with a moderately increased radiofrequency power was used since 2012, and the MFT catheter was independently associated with a lower clinical recurrence compared to other irrigated-tip catheters (HR, 0.670; 95% CI: 0.559-0.803, P<0.001; log rank P=0.002) without increasing the procedure-related complications (OR, 1.434; 95% CI: 0.937-2.194, P=0.097). Conclusions: Over the 9 years the extra-PV LA ablation and 1-year recurrence rates in the AF ablation cohort decreased, in part due to improved catheter technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-312
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant (HI18C0070) from the Korea Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, and a grant (NRF-2017R1A2B4003983) 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). We thank Mr. John Martin for his linguistic assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Japanese Circulation Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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