Publications by authors named "Li Fern Hsu"

55 Publications

The New CHEST Guidelines on Antithrombotic Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation Should Consider Recent Data on Rivaroxaban.

Chest 2019 06;155(6):1309-1311

Cardiology Clinical Academic Group St. George's, University of London and Imperial College, London, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2019.03.036DOI Listing
June 2019

XANAP: A real-world, prospective, observational study of patients treated with rivaroxaban for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation in Asia.

J Arrhythm 2018 Aug 6;34(4):418-427. Epub 2018 Jul 6.

Cardiology Clinical Academic Group St. George's University of London and Imperial College London UK.

Background: ROCKET AF and its East Asian subanalysis demonstrated that rivaroxaban was non-inferior to warfarin for stroke/systemic embolism (SE) prevention in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), with a favorable benefit-risk profile. XANAP investigated the safety and effectiveness of rivaroxaban in routine care in Asia-Pacific.

Methods: XANAP was a prospective, real-world, observational study in patients with NVAF newly starting rivaroxaban. Patients were followed at ~3-month intervals for 1 year, or for ≥30 days after permanent discontinuation. Primary outcomes were major bleeding events, adverse events (AEs), serious AEs and all-cause mortality; secondary outcomes included stroke/SE. Major outcomes were adjudicated centrally.

Results: XANAP enrolled 2273 patients from 10 countries: mean age was 70.5 years and 58.1% were male. 49.8% of patients received rivaroxaban 20 mg once daily (od), 43.8% 15 mg od and 5.9% 10 mg od. Mean treatment duration was 296 days, and 72.8% of patients had received prior anticoagulation therapy. Co-morbidities included heart failure (20.1%), hypertension (73.6%), diabetes mellitus (26.6%), prior stroke/non-central nervous system SE/transient ischemic attack (32.8%) and myocardial infarction (3.8%). Mean CHADS, CHADS-VASc and HAS-BLED scores were 2.3, 3.7 and 2.1, respectively. The rates (events/100 patient-years [95% confidence interval]) of treatment-emergent major bleeding, stroke and all-cause mortality were 1.5 (1.0-2.1), 1.7 (1.2-2.5) and 2.0 (1.4-2.7), respectively. Persistence was 66.2% at the study end.

Conclusions: The real-world XANAP study demonstrated low rates of stroke and bleeding in rivaroxaban-treated patients with NVAF from Asia-Pacific. The results were consistent with the real-world XANTUS study and ROCKET AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joa3.12073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6111488PMC
August 2018

Pectus excavatum: uncommon electrical abnormalities caused by extrinsic right ventricular compression.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2014 Mar 6;25(3):324-7. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Department of Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

We report a case of pectus excavatum associated with ventricular tachycardia provoked by exercise in a 19-year-old man. Although this chest deformity has been associated with supraventricular dysrhythmias, documented ventricular tachycardia has only been reported once. Our patient's ventricular dysrhythmia was treated by surgical correction of his pectus excavatum only, and at 3 years follow-up he has had no recurrence of his ventricular tachycardia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.12336DOI Listing
March 2014

Catheter ablation of ventricular fibrillation storm in a long QT syndrome genotype carrier with normal QT interval.

Singapore Med J 2013 Jan;54(1):e1-4

Department of Cardiology, National Heart Centre, Singapore.

Patients with long QT syndrome can sometimes present with a ventricular fibrillation (VF) storm. Catheter ablation of culprit premature ventricular complexes responsible for the triggering of the VF episodes may be required in rare cases of electrical storm that do not respond to conventional measures, and this can be life-saving. We describe a case of emergency catheter ablation in a young woman with a normal corrected QT interval, who presented with malignant VF storm for the first time. We also discuss the diagnostic and management challenges involved, as well as the value of genetic testing in refining the diagnosis.
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January 2013

Catheter ablation of ventricular fibrillation triggers and electrical storm.

Europace 2012 Dec 19;14(12):1687-95. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Department of Cardiology, National Heart Centre Singapore, 17 Third Hospital Avenue, Singapore 168752.

Ventricular fibrillation (VF) and electrical storm remain challenging conditions to manage despite the availability of various treatment modalities. Insertion of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) remains the gold standard method for lowering the risk of sudden cardiac death in patients deemed to be at greatest risk of ventricular arrhythmias. However, ICDs do not alter the underlying substrate responsible for the arrhythmic events and a significant proportion of patients with ICDs may experience VF storm which may be life threatening and difficult to control with medication. Catheter ablation (CA) of the triggers or abnormal electrical substrate responsible for VF storm is an important treatment option in rare cases. In this article, we present an overview of the current theories underlying the mechanisms of VF and discuss how the technique of CA may be used to treat the triggers of VF and electrical storm. We review the literature on outcomes in patients who have undergone CA for VF in a variety of different settings, including those with structural heart disease and structurally normal hearts (e.g. patients with inherited arrhythmogenic diseases and idiopathic VF) and discuss the future directions in this field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/eus050DOI Listing
December 2012

Complete atrioventricular block complicating acute anterior myocardial infarction can be reversed with acute coronary angioplasty.

Ann Acad Med Singap 2010 Mar;39(3):254-7

Department of Cardiology, National Heart Centre Singapore.

Introduction: A retrospective case series of acute anterior myocardial infarction (MI) patients complicated by complete atrioventricular block (AVB) treated with acute percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA).

Clinical Picture: Eight patients with anterior MI and complete AVB underwent acute PTCA between 2000 and 2005. Mean onset of complete AVB was 16.6 +/- 16.9 hours from chest pain onset.

Treatment: All patients underwent successful PTCA to the left anterior descending artery.

Outcome: Complete AVB resolved with PTCA in 88%; mean time of resolution was 89 +/- 144 minutes after revascularisation. One patient had permanent pacemaker implanted at Day 12 after developing an 8-second ventricular standstill during hospitalisation but not pacing-dependent on follow-up. The rhythm on discharge for the other surviving patients was normal sinus rhythm.

Conclusion: This case series suggests that complete AVB complicating anterior MI is reversible with acute PTCA and survivors are not at increased risk of recurrent AVB. Nevertheless, this condition is associated with extensive myocardial damage and high mortality during the acute hospitalisation was not improved with correction of AVB with temporary pacing.
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March 2010

Outcomes of long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation ablation: a systematic review.

Heart Rhythm 2010 Jun 22;7(6):835-46. Epub 2010 Jan 22.

Department of Cardiology, Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Disciplines of Medicine and Physiology, University of Adelaide, Cardiovascular Research Centre, Adelaide, Australia.

Background: Ablation of long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) is highly variable, with differing techniques and outcomes.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to undertake a systematic review of the literature with regard to the impact of ablation technique on the outcomes of long-standing persistent AF ablation.

Methods: A systematic search of the contemporary English scientific literature (from January 1, 1990 to June 1, 2009) in the PubMed database identified 32 studies on persistent/long-standing persistent or long-standing persistent AF ablation (including four randomized controlled trials). Data on single-procedure, drug-free success, multiple procedure success, and pharmaceutically assisted success at longest follow-up were collated.

Results: Four studies performed pulmonary vein isolation alone (21%-22% success). Four studies performed pulmonary vein antrum ablation with isolation (PVAI; n = 2; 38%-40% success) or without confirmed isolation (PVA; n = 2; 37%-56% success). Ten studies performed linear ablation in addition to PVA (n = 5; 11%-74% success) or PVAI (n = 5; 38%-57% success). Three studies performed posterior wall box isolation (n = 3; 44%-50% success). Five studies performed complex fractionated atrial electrogram ablation (n = 5; 24%-63% success). Six studies performed complex fractionated atrial electrogram ablation as an adjunct to PVA (n = 2; 50%-51% success), PVAI (n = 3; 36%-61% success), or PVAI and linear (n = 1; 68% success) ablation. Five studies performed the stepwise ablation approach (38%-62% success).

Conclusion: The variation in success within and between techniques suggests that the optimal ablation technique for long-standing persistent AF is unclear. Nevertheless, long-standing persistent AF can be effectively treated with a composite of extensive index catheter ablation, repeat procedures, and/or pharmaceuticals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2010.01.017DOI Listing
June 2010

Comprehensive mutation scanning of KCNQ1 in 111 Han Chinese patients with lone atrial fibrillation.

Heart Asia 2010 8;2(1):126-8. Epub 2010 Nov 8.

Department of Paediatrics, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Objective: To determine the extent to which genetic variation in the potassium channel gene KCNQ1 causes atrial fibrillation (AF).

Design: Case-control study.

Setting: National University Hospital, Singapore.

Patients: Han Chinese patients (n=111) with lone AF (onset <60 years and lacking risk factors) and 265 Han Chinese controls.

Interventions: Blood draw, 12-lead electrocardiogram and transthoracic echocardiogram were performed on patients with AF at enrolment.

Main Outcome Measures: DNA sequence variants in the coding region and exon-intron boundaries of KCNQ1 as detected by direct sequencing.

Results: Four previously reported coding variants were identified: I145I, S546S, P448R and G643S. An additional 19 non-coding variants were identified, nine of which are newly reported. None were predicted to create a cryptic splicing site. The allele frequencies of the two non-synonymous variants did not differ significantly in the AF cases compared with 265 Han Chinese controls (P448R: 10.8% in cases vs 8.6% in controls, p=0.41; G643S: 1.4% in cases vs 0.8% in controls, p=0.43).

Conclusions: Comprehensive mutation scanning of KCNQ1 did not identify novel pathogenic mutations or risk-conferring polymorphisms. As in Caucasians, genetic variation in KCNQ1 is not a common cause of AF in Han Chinese. Routine genetic testing of KCNQ1 for AF is, therefore, not warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ha.2010.002832DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4898533PMC
June 2016

Extreme pulmonary vein tachycardia--clue or distraction?

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2010 Mar 8;21(3):336-8. Epub 2009 Oct 8.

National Heart Centre, Singapore.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2009.01629.xDOI Listing
March 2010

Implantation of lumenless pacing leads at the inter-atrial septum and right ventricular outflow tract with deflectable catheter-sheath.

J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci 2008 Dec 24;28(6):639-44. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Department of Cardiology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China.

Current permanent right ventricular and right atrial endocardial pacing leads are implanted utilizing a central lumen stylet. Right ventricular apex pacing initiates an abnormal asynchronous electrical activation pattern, which results in asynchronous ventricular contraction and relaxation. When pacing from right atrial appendage, the conduction time between two atria will be prolonged, which results in heterogeneity for both depolarization and repolarization. Six patients with Class I indication for permanent pacing were implanted with either single chamber or dual chamber pacemaker. The SelectSecure 3830 4-French (Fr) lumenless lead and the SelectSite C304 8.5-Fr steerable catheter-sheath (Medtronic Inc., USA) were used. Pre-selected pacing sites included inter-atrial septum and right ventricular outflow tract, which were defined by ECG and fluoroscopic criteria. All the implanting procedures were successful without complication. Testing results (mean atrial pacing threshold: 0.87 V; mean P wave amplitude: 2.28 mV; mean ventricular pacing threshold: 0.53V; mean R wave amplitude: 8.75 mV) were satisfactory. It is concluded that implantation of a 4-Fr lumenless pacing lead by using a streerable catheter-sheath to achieve inter-atrial septum or right ventricular outflow tract pacing is safe and feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11596-008-0605-8DOI Listing
December 2008

Image integration for catheter ablation: searching for the perfect match.

Authors:
Li-Fern Hsu

Heart Rhythm 2008 Apr 29;5(4):536-7. Epub 2008 Jan 29.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2008.01.021DOI Listing
April 2008

Complete isolation of the pulmonary veins and posterior left atrium in chronic atrial fibrillation. Long-term clinical outcome.

Eur Heart J 2007 Aug;28(15):1862-71

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque and Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux-II, Bordeaux, France.

Aims: To evaluate the contribution of the posterior left atrium (LA) to chronic atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods And Results: Twenty-seven patients with chronic-AF were studied. After pulmonary vein (PV) isolation, the posterior-LA was isolated by ablation joining the right- and left-PVs using an irrigated-tip catheter. Isolation was demonstrated by absent/dissociated posterior-LA activity and the inability to pace the region. Ablation impact was determined by the effect on cycle length (CL) and AF termination. Posterior-LA isolation was achieved using 35 +/- 12 min of radiofrequency with total fluoroscopic and procedural durations of 64 +/- 16 and 199 +/- 46 min, resulting in abolition of electrograms (n = 21) or autonomous activity (n = 6; CL 820 +/- 343 ms). AFCL increased from 156 +/- 28 ms to 162 +/- 27 ms with PV-isolation and to 175 +/- 32 ms by posterior-LA exclusion (P < 0.0001). AF persisted in all after PV-isolation and terminated in 5 (19%) during posterior-LA-isolation. After 10 +/- 6 months, 12 patients developed atrial tachycardia (four) or AF (eight); four underwent repeat posterior-LA-isolation, while the others required additional ablation/antiarrhythmics. After 21 +/- 5 months, 17 (63%) were in sinus rhythm following posterior-LA-isolation.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the feasibility of complete posterior-LA exclusion by catheter ablation. This strategy results in maintenance of sinus rhythm in 63% at 2 years follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehl548DOI Listing
August 2007

Loss-of-function mutations in the cardiac calcium channel underlie a new clinical entity characterized by ST-segment elevation, short QT intervals, and sudden cardiac death.

Circulation 2007 Jan 15;115(4):442-9. Epub 2007 Jan 15.

Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, 2150 Bleecker St, Utica, NY 13501, USA.

Background: Cardiac ion channelopathies are responsible for an ever-increasing number and diversity of familial cardiac arrhythmia syndromes. We describe a new clinical entity that consists of an ST-segment elevation in the right precordial ECG leads, a shorter-than-normal QT interval, and a history of sudden cardiac death.

Methods And Results: Eighty-two consecutive probands with Brugada syndrome were screened for ion channel gene mutations with direct sequencing. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed, and CHO-K1 cells were cotransfected with cDNAs encoding wild-type or mutant CACNB2b (Ca(v beta2b)), CACNA2D1 (Ca(v alpha2delta1)), and CACNA1C tagged with enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (Ca(v)1.2). Whole-cell patch-clamp studies were performed after 48 to 72 hours. Three probands displaying ST-segment elevation and corrected QT intervals < or = 360 ms had mutations in genes encoding the cardiac L-type calcium channel. Corrected QT ranged from 330 to 370 ms among probands and clinically affected family members. Rate adaptation of QT interval was reduced. Quinidine normalized the QT interval and prevented stimulation-induced ventricular tachycardia. Genetic and heterologous expression studies revealed loss-of-function missense mutations in CACNA1C (A39V and G490R) and CACNB2 (S481L) encoding the alpha1- and beta2b-subunits of the L-type calcium channel. Confocal microscopy revealed a defect in trafficking of A39V Ca(v)1.2 channels but normal trafficking of channels containing G490R Ca(v)1.2 or S481L Ca(v beta2b)-subunits.

Conclusions: This is the first report of loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding the cardiac L-type calcium channel to be associated with a familial sudden cardiac death syndrome in which a Brugada syndrome phenotype is combined with shorter-than-normal QT intervals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.668392DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1952683PMC
January 2007

Impact of left ventricular epicardial and biventricular pacing on ventricular repolarization in normal-heart individuals and patients with congestive heart failure.

Europace 2006 Nov;8(11):1002-10

Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology, Tong-Ji Hospital, Tong-Ji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, People's Republic of China.

Aims: Malignant ventricular arrhythmias can arise in a subset of congestive heart failure (CHF) patients after they undergo cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), thus counteracting the haemodynamic benefits typically associated with biventricular pacing. This study seeks to assess whether alteration of the ventricular transmural repolarization and conduction due to reversal of the depolarization sequence during epicardial or biventricular pacing facilitate the development of ventricular arrhythmias.

Methods And Results: ECGs and monophasic action potential (MAP) were recorded during programmed stimulation from right ventricle (RV) endocardium (RV-Endo), left ventricle (LV) epicardium (LV-Epi), or both (biventricular, Bi-V) in 15 individuals without structural heart diseases. In patients with severe CHF and CRT (n=21), ECGs were collected during RV-Endo, LV-Epi, and Bi-V pacing. MAP duration on intracardiac electrogram, the QT, JT, and T(peak)-T(end) intervals on ECGs at different pacing sites were measured and compared. In subjects with or without structural heart disease, compared with RV-Endo pacing, LV-Epi and Bi-V pacing resulted in a longer JT (341.78+/-61.97 ms with LV-Epi, 325.86+/-59.69 ms with Bi-V vs. 286.14+/-38.68 ms with RV-Endo in CHF individuals, P<0.0001) or T(peak)-T(end) interval (121.55+/-19.88 ms with LV-Epi, 117.71+/-42.63 ms with Bi-V vs. 102.28+/-12.62 ms with RV-Endo in normal-heart subjects, P<0.0001; 199.70+/-62.44 ms with LV-Epi, 184.89+/-74.08 ms with Bi-V vs. 146.41+/-31.06 ms with RV-Endo in CHF patients, P<0.0001), in addition to prolonged myocardial repolarization time and delayed endocardial activation. During follow-up, sudden death and arrhythmia storm occurred in two CHF patients after CRT.

Conclusion: Epicardial and biventricular pacing prolong the time and increase the dispersion of myocardial repolarization and delay the transmural conduction. All of these should be considered as potential arrhythmogenic factors in CHF patients who receive CRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/eul110DOI Listing
November 2006

Frequency mapping of the pulmonary veins in paroxysmal versus permanent atrial fibrillation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2006 Sep;17(9):965-72

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque and the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France.

Introduction: The pulmonary veins (PVs) are a dominant source of triggers initiating atrial fibrillation (AF). While recent evidence implicates these structures in the maintenance of paroxysmal AF, their role in permanent AF is not known. The current study aims to compare the contribution of PV activity to the maintenance of paroxysmal and permanent AF.

Methods And Results: Thirty-four patients with paroxysmal AF (n = 20) or permanent AF (n = 14) undergoing ablation were studied. Prior to ablation, 32 seconds of electrograms were acquired from each PV and the coronary sinus (CS). The frequency of activity of each PV and CS was defined as the highest amplitude frequency on spectral analysis. The effects of ablation on the AF cycle length (AFCL) and frequency and on AF termination were determined. Significant differences were observed between paroxysmal and permanent AF. Paroxysmal AF demonstrates higher frequency PV activity (11.0 +/- 3.1 vs 8.8 +/- 3.0 Hz; P = 0.0003) but lower CS frequency (5.8 +/- 1.2 vs 6.9 +/- 1.4 Hz; P = 0.01) and longer AFCL (182 +/- 17 vs 158 +/- 21 msec; P = 0.002), resulting in greater PV to atrial frequency gradient (7.2 +/- 2.2 vs 4.2 +/- 2.9 Hz; P = 0.006). PV isolation in paroxysmal AF resulted in a greater decrease in atrial frequency (1.0 +/- 0.7 vs -0.05 +/- 0.4 Hz; P < 0.0001), greater prolongation of the AFCL (49 +/- 35 vs 5 +/- 6 msec; P < 0.0001), and more frequent AF termination (11/20 vs 0/14; P = 0.0007) compared to permanent AF.

Conclusion: Paroxysmal AF is associated with higher frequency PV activity and lesser CS frequency compared to permanent AF. Isolation of the PVs had a greater impact on the fibrillatory process in paroxysmal AF compared to permanent AF, suggesting that while the PVs have a role in maintaining paroxysmal AF, these structures independently contribute less to the maintenance of permanent AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2006.00546.xDOI Listing
September 2006

Characterization of conduction recovery across left atrial linear lesions in patients with paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2006 Oct 14;17(10):1106-11. Epub 2006 Aug 14.

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque and the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France.

Background: Left atrial (LA) linear lesions are effective in substrate modification for atrial fibrillation (AF). However, achievement of complete conduction block remains challenging and conduction recovery is commonly observed. The aim of the study was to investigate the localization of gap sites of recovered LA linear lesions.

Methods And Results: Forty-eight patients with paroxysmal (n = 26) and persistent/permanent (n = 22) AF underwent repeat ablation after pulmonary vein (PV) isolation and LA linear ablation at the LA roof and/or mitral isthmus due to recurrences of AF or flutter. In 35 patients, conduction through the mitral isthmus line (ML) had recovered whereas roof-line recovery was observed in 30 patients. The gaps within the ML were distributed to the junction between left inferior PV and left atrial appendage in 66%, the middle part of the ML in 20%, and in 8% to the endocardial aspect of the ML while only 6% of lines showed an epicardial site of recovery. The RL predominantly recovered close to the right superior PV (54%) and less frequently in the mid roof or close to the left PV (both 23%). Reablation of lines required significantly shorter RF durations (ML: 7.24 +/- 5.55 minutes vs 24.08 +/- 9.38 minutes, RL: 4.24 +/- 2.34 minutes vs 11.54 +/- 6.49 minutes; P = 0.0001). Patients with persistent/permanent AF demonstrated a significantly longer conduction delay circumventing the complete lines than patients with paroxysmal AF (228 +/- 77 ms vs 164 +/- 36 ms, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Gaps in recovered LA lines were predominantly located close to the PVs where catheter stability is often difficult to achieve. Shorter RF durations are required for reablation of recovered linear lesions. Conduction times around complete LA lines are significantly longer in patients with persistent/permanent AF as compared to patients with paroxysmal AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2006.00585.xDOI Listing
October 2006

Fibrillating areas isolated within the left atrium after radiofrequency linear catheter ablation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2006 Aug;17(8):807-12

Service de Rythmologie, Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque and the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II, Bordeaux-Pessac, France.

Introduction: Nonpulmonary vein sources have been implicated as potential drivers of atrial fibrillation (AF). This observational study describes regions of fibrillating atrial tissue isolated inadvertently from the left atrium (LA) following linear catheter ablation for AF.

Methods And Results: We report four patients with persistent/permanent AF who underwent pulmonary vein isolation with additional linear lesions and who presented with recurrent AF (mean AF cycle length [AFCL] 175-270 ms). Further catheter ablation resulted in the inadvertent electrical isolation of significant areas of the LA in which AF persisted at the same AFCL as was measured prior to disconnection, despite the restoration of sinus rhythm (SR) in all other left and right atrial areas, strongly suggesting that these islands were driving the remaining atria into fibrillation. The disconnected areas were located in the lateral LA, including the left atrial appendage (LAA) in three patients (limited to the LAA in one) and in the posterior LA in one patient. These isolated fibrillating regions represented 15-24% of the global LA surface, as estimated by electroanatomic mapping.

Conclusion: Fibrillation can be maintained within electrically isolated regions of the LA following catheter ablation of AF, demonstrating the importance of atrial drivers in the maintenance of AF. Further mapping of these drivers is needed to characterize their mechanism and thereby allow for a more specific ablation strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2006.00505.xDOI Listing
August 2006

Phrenic nerve injury after atrial fibrillation catheter ablation: characterization and outcome in a multicenter study.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2006 Jun;47(12):2498-503

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, Université Bordeaux II, Bordeaux-Pessac, France.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to characterize the occurrence of phrenic nerve injury (PNI) and its outcome after radiofrequency (RF) ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF).

Background: It is recognized that extra-myocardial damage may develop owing to penetration of ablative energy.

Methods: Between 1997 and 2004, 3,755 consecutive patients underwent AF ablation at five centers. Among them, 18 patients (0.48%; 9 male, 54 +/- 10 years) had PNI (16 right, 2 left). The procedure consisted of pulmonary vein (PV) isolation in 15 patients and anatomic circumferential ablation in 3 patients, with additional left atrial lesions (n = 11) and/or superior vena cava (SVC) disconnection (n = 4).

Results: Right PNI occurred during ablation of right superior PV (n = 12) or SVC disconnection (n = 3). Left PNI occurred during ablation at the left atrial appendage. Immediate features were dyspnea, cough, hiccup, and/or sudden diaphragmatic elevation in 9, and in the remaining the diagnosis was made after ablation owing to dyspnea (n = 7) or on routine radiographic evaluation (n = 2). Four patients (22%) were asymptomatic. Complete recovery occurred in 12 patients (66%). Recovery occurred within 24 h in the two patients with left PNI and in one patient with right PNI occurring with SVC disconnection. In the other nine patients, right PNI recovery occurred after 4 +/- 5 months (1 to 12 months) with respiratory rehabilitation. After a mean follow-up of 36 +/- 33 months, six patients have persistent PNI (three with partial and three with no recovery).

Conclusions: In this multicenter experience, PNI was a rare complication (0.48%) of AF ablation. Ablation of the right superior PV, SVC, and left atrial appendage were associated with PNI. Complete (66%) or partial (17%) recovery was observed in the majority.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2006.02.050DOI Listing
June 2006

Flutter localized to the anterior left atrium after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2006 Mar;17(3):279-85

Hôpital Haut-Lévèque, Université Victor Ségalen, Bordeaux II, Bordeaux-Pessac, France.

Introduction: Organized atrial arrhythmias following atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation are typically due to recovered pulmonary vein (PV) conduction or reentry at incomplete ablation lines. We describe the role of nonablated anterior left atrium (LA) in arrhythmias observed after AF ablation.

Methods: A total of 275 consecutive patients with paroxysmal (n = 200) or chronic (n = 75) AF had PV isolation with/without additional linear ablation at the mitral isthmus (n = 106), LA roof (n = 23), or both (n = 88). Organized arrhythmias occurring after ablation were evaluated utilizing activation and entrainment mapping.

Results: Fourteen patients (11 female, 65 +/- 13 years, 10 chronic AF, 10 structural heart disease) demonstrated tachycardia localized to the anterior LA, an area not targeted by prior ablation. Eight had ECG features during sinus rhythm suggestive of impaired anterior LA conduction at baseline. These arrhythmias demonstrated a distinctive ECG flutter morphology in 7 of 10 (70%) with discrete -/+ or +/-/+ aspect in inferior leads. Mapping the anterior LA revealed electrograms spanning the entire tachycardia cycle length (325 +/- 125 msec). Entrainment was possible in all with a postpacing interval exceeding the tachycardia cycle length by 9 +/- 10 msec. Electroanatomic mapping in 6 demonstrated small reentrant circuits rotating clockwise in 4 and counterclockwise in 2. Low-amplitude, fractionated mid-diastolic potentials with long duration (200 +/- 80 msec) occupying 63 +/- 22% of the cycle length were targeted for ablation resulting in termination and subsequent noninducibility.

Conclusion: Organized arrhythmias occurring after AF ablation can be due to reentrant circuits localized to the anterior LA, predominantly in females with chronic AF, structural heart disease, and abnormal atrial conduction. They are characterized by a distinctive surface ECG and highly responsive to RF ablation at the slow conduction area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2005.00292.xDOI Listing
March 2006

Shortening of fibrillatory cycle length in the pulmonary vein during vagal excitation.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2006 Feb 30;47(4):774-80. Epub 2006 Jan 30.

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque-Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France.

Objectives: The goal of the present prospective study is to evaluate the impact of vagal excitation on ongoing atrial fibrillation (AF) during pulmonary vein (PV) isolation.

Background: The role of vagal tone in maintenance of AF is controversial in humans.

Methods: Twenty-five patients (18 with paroxysmal AF, 7 with chronic AF) were selected by occurrence of vagal excitation during AF (atrioventricular [AV] block: R-R interval >3 s) produced by PV isolation. Fibrillatory cycle length (CL) in the targeted PV and coronary sinus (CS) were determined before, during, and after vagal excitation. The CL was available at PV ostium during vagal excitation in 11 patients.

Results: Forty-eight episodes of vagal excitation were observed. During vagal excitation, CL abruptly decreased both in CS and PV (CS, 164 +/- 20 ms to 155 +/- 23 ms, p < 0.0001; PV, 160 +/- 22 ms to 143 +/- 28 ms, p < 0.0001), and both returned to the baseline value with resumption of AV conduction. The decrease in PVCL occurred earlier (2.5 +/- 1.5 s vs. 4.0 +/- 2.6 s, p < 0.01) and was of greater magnitude than that in CSCL (16 +/- 16 ms vs. 8 +/- 9 ms, p < 0.01). A sequential gradient of CL was observed from PV to PV ostium and CS during vagal excitation (138 +/- 29 ms, 149 +/- 24 ms, and 159 +/- 26 ms, respectively). The decrease in CL was significantly greater in paroxysmal than in chronic AF (CS, 11 +/- 9 ms vs. 5 +/- 7 ms, p < 0.05; PV, 23 +/- 25 ms vs. 8 +/- 14 ms, p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Vagal excitation is associated with shortening of fibrillatory CL. This occurs earlier in PV with a sequential gradient to PV ostium and CS, suggesting that vagal excitation enhances a driving role of PV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2005.10.043DOI Listing
February 2006

Localized sources maintaining atrial fibrillation organized by prior ablation.

Circulation 2006 Feb;113(5):616-25

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, University Victor Segalen, Bordeaux, France.

Background: Endocardial mapping of localized sources driving atrial fibrillation (AF) in humans has not been reported.

Methods And Results: Fifty patients with AF organized by prior pulmonary vein and linear ablation were studied. AF was considered organized if mapping during AF showed irregular but discrete atrial complexes exhibiting consistent activation sequences for >75% of the time using a 20-pole catheter with 5 radiating spines covering 3.5-cm diameter or sequential conventional mapping. A site or region centrifugally activating the remaining atrial tissue defined a source. During AF with a cycle length of 211+/-32 ms, activation mapping identified 1 to 3 sources at the origin of atrial wavefronts in 38 patients (76%) predominantly in the left atrium, including the coronary sinus region. Electrograms at the earliest area varied from discrete centrifugal activation to an activity spanning 75% to 100% of the cycle length in 42% of cases, the latter indicating complex local conduction or a reentrant circuit. A gradient of cycle length (>20 ms) to the surrounding atrium was observed in 28%. Local radiofrequency ablation prolonged AF cycle length by 28+/-22 ms and either terminated AF or changed activation sequence to another organized rhythm. In 4 patients, the driving source was isolated, surrounded by the atrium in sinus rhythm, and still firing at high frequency (228+/-31 ms) either permanently or in bursts.

Conclusions: AF associated with consistent atrial activation sequences after prior ablation emanates mostly from localized sources that can be mapped and ablated. Some sources harbor electrograms suggesting the presence of localized reentry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.546648DOI Listing
February 2006

Long-term evaluation of atrial fibrillation ablation guided by noninducibility.

Heart Rhythm 2006 Feb;3(2):140-5

Hôpital Haut-Lévèque and Université Victor Ségalen, Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France.

Background: Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation and linear lesions are effective in eliminating paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF), but linear lesions probably are not required in all patients. Noninducibility of AF has been shown to be associated with freedom from arrhythmia in 87% of patients.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to prospectively evaluate the role of noninducibility in guiding a stepwise approach tailored to the patient.

Methods: In 74 patients (age 53 +/- 8 years) with paroxysmal AF, PV isolation was performed during induced or spontaneous AF. If AF was inducible after PV isolation, one to two additional linear lesions were placed at the mitral isthmus and/or left atrial roof, with the endpoint of noninducibility of AF or atrial flutter. Inducibility (AF/atrial flutter, lasting > or = 10 minutes) was assessed using burst pacing at an output of 20 mA down to refractoriness from the coronary sinus and both atrial appendages.

Results: In 42 patients (57%), PV isolation restored sinus rhythm and rendered AF noninducible. In the 32 patients with persistent or inducible AF after PV isolation, a single linear lesion achieved noninducibility in 20, whereas two linear lesions were required in 12 and resulted in conversion to sinus rhythm and noninducibility in 10. Using this stepwise approach, a total of 69 patients (93%) were rendered noninducible. During follow-up of 18 +/- 4 months, 67 patients (91%) were free from arrhythmia without antiarrhythmic drugs. Repeat procedures were performed in 23 patients: repeat ablation was required to consolidate prior targets in 15 patients (20%), and "new" linear lesions, which were not predicted by inducibility during the index procedure, were required in 8 (11%).

Conclusion: Noninducibility can be used as an endpoint for determining the subset of patients with paroxysmal AF who require additional linear lesions after PV isolation. This tailored approach is effective in 91% of patients while preventing delivery of unnecessary linear lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2005.11.012DOI Listing
February 2006

Clinical predictors of noninducibility of sustained atrial fibrillation after pulmonary vein isolation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2005 Dec;16(12):1298-303

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, and the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France.

Background: Noninducibility of sustained atrial fibrillation (AF) after pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) has been shown to be associated with a better clinical outcome. We evaluated the role of clinical variables that could predict noninducibility of sustained AF after PVI.

Methods And Results: Data were collected prospectively from 181 patients (153 male; age 54 +/- 9 years) referred for ablation of drug-refractory symptomatic paroxysmal AF (duration < or =7 days). Clinical variables were evaluated with regard to their ability of predicting noninducibility of sustained AF (< or =10 minutes) after PVI. Univariate analysis was performed on all collected variables followed by multivariate analysis for variables showing a P value <0.1. After PVI, sustained AF was noninducible in 97 (54%) patients. The following clinical variables showed a significant difference between the groups: body weight, longest AF episode, duration of AF history, presence or absence of structural heart disease, left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy, prior cardioversion, left atrial (LA) parasternal, and longitudinal diameters and LV diameters. On multivariate analysis, three independent predictors of noninducibility were identified: a shorter duration of AF episodes (AF <12 hours: RR 0.01 (0.002-0.06), P < 0.001; AF 12-48 hours: RR 0.07 (0.01-0.37), P = 0.001); LA longitudinal diameter <57 mm (RR 0.33 (0.13-0.82), P = 0.016); and absence of LV hypertrophy (RR 0.15 (0.04-0.63), P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Shorter AF episodes, smaller LA longitudinal diameter, and absence of LV hypertrophy are independent predictors of noninducibility of sustained AF after PVI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2005.00225.xDOI Listing
December 2005

High-density activation mapping of fractionated electrograms in the atria of patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

Heart Rhythm 2006 Jan;3(1):27-34

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, Bordeaux, France; Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France.

Background: Areas of complex fractionated atrial electrograms (CFAEs) have been implicated in the atrial substrate of atrial fibrillation (AF). The mechanisms underlying CFAE in humans are not well investigated.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the regional activation pattern associated with CFAE using a high-density contact mapping catheter.

Methods: Twenty patients with paroxysmal AF were mapped using a high-density multielectrode catheter. CFAE were mapped at 10 different sites (left atrium [LA]: inferior, posterior, roof, septum, anterior, lateral; right atrium [RA]: anterior, lateral, posterior, septum). Local atrial fibrillation cycle length (AFCL) was measured immediately before and after the occurrence of CFAE, and the longest electrogram duration (CFAEmax) was assessed.

Results: Longer electrogram durations were recorded in the LA compared with the RA (CFAEmax 118 +/- 21 ms vs 104 +/- 23 ms, P = .001). AFCL significantly shortened before the occurrence of CFAEmax compared with baseline (LA: 174 +/- 32 ms vs 186 +/- 32 ms, P = .0001; RA: 177 +/- 31 ms vs 188 +/- 31 ms, P = .0001) and returned to baseline afterwards. AFCL shortened by >or=10 ms in 91% of mapped sites. Two different local activation patterns were associated with occurrence of CFAEmax: a nearly simultaneous activation in all spines in 84% indicating passive activation, and a nonsimultaneous activation sequence suggesting local complex activation or reentry.

Conclusion: Fractionated atrial electrograms during AF demonstrate dynamic changes that are dependent on regional AFCL. Shortening of AFCL precedes the development of CFAE; thus, cycle length is a major determinant of fractionation during AF. High-density mapping in AF may help to differentiate passive activation of CFAE from CFAE associated with an active component of the AF process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2005.09.019DOI Listing
January 2006

Techniques, evaluation, and consequences of linear block at the left atrial roof in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: a prospective randomized study.

Circulation 2005 Dec;112(24):3688-96

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France.

Background: There are no reports describing the technique, electrophysiological evaluation, and clinical consequences of complete linear block at roofline joining the superior pulmonary veins (PVs) in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods And Results: Ninety patients with drug-refractory paroxysmal AF undergoing radiofrequency ablation were prospectively randomized into 2 ablation strategies: (1) PV isolation (n=45) or (2) PV isolation in combination with linear ablation joining the 2 superior PVs (roofline; n=45). In both groups, the cavotricuspid isthmus, fragmented peri-PV-ostial electrograms, and spontaneous non-PV foci were ablated. Roofline ablation was performed at the most cranial part of the left atrium (LA) with complete conduction block demonstrated during LA appendage pacing by the online mapping of continuous double potential and an activation detour propagating around the PVs to activate caudocranially the posterior wall of the LA. The effect of ablation at the LA roof was evaluated by the change in fibrillatory cycle length, termination and noninducibility of AF, and clinical outcome. PV isolation was achieved in all patients with no significant differences in the radiofrequency duration, fluoroscopy, or procedural time between the groups. Roofline ablation required 12+/-6 (median 11, range 3 to 25) minutes of radiofrequency energy delivery with a fluoroscopic duration of 7+/-2 minutes and was performed in 19+/-7 minutes. Complete block was confirmed in 43 patients (96%) and resulted in an activation delay that was shorter circumventing the left than the right PVs during LA appendage pacing (138+/-15 versus 146+/-25 ms, respectively; P=0.01). Roofline ablation resulted in a significant increase in the fibrillatory cycle length (198+/-38 to 217+/-44 ms; P=0.0005), termination of arrhythmia in 47% (8/17), and subsequent noninducibility of AF in 59% (10/17) of the patients inducible after PV isolation. However, LA flutter, predominantly perimitral, could be induced in 10 patients (22%) after roofline ablation. At 15+/-4 months, 87% of the roofline group and 69% with PV isolation alone are arrhythmia free without antiarrhythmics (P=0.04).

Conclusions: This prospective randomized study demonstrates the feasibility of achieving complete linear block at the LA roof. Such ablation resulted in the prolongation of the fibrillatory cycle, termination of AF, and subsequent noninducibility and is associated with an improved clinical outcome compared with PV isolation alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.541052DOI Listing
December 2005

Characterization of focal atrial tachycardia using high-density mapping.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2005 Dec 9;46(11):2088-99. Epub 2005 Nov 9.

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, Bordeaux, France.

Objectives: The goal of this study was to characterize the origin of focal atrial tachycardias (AT).

Background: Focal ATs originate from a small area and spread centrifugally; however, activation at the AT origin has not been characterized.

Methods: Twenty patients with AT having failed prior ablation or occurring after atrial fibrillation ablation were studied. After excluding macro-re-entry, AT was mapped using a 20-pole catheter (five radiating spines; diameter 3.5 cm), performing vector mapping to identify the earliest activity followed by high-density mapping at the AT origin. Localized re-entry was considered if >85% of the tachycardia cycle length (CL) was observed within the mapping field and was confirmed by entrainment.

Results: A total of 27 ATs were mapped to the pulmonary vein ostia (n = 5), and left (n = 16) and right atria (n = 6). A localized focus was evidenced at the site of origin in 19 ATs (70%), whereas in 8 (30%), localized re-entry was evidenced by 95.2 +/- 4.5% of the tachycardia CL recorded within the mapping field and entrainment showed a post-pacing interval <20 ms longer than tachycardia CL (6 of 6 tested). Localized re-entry had a shorter CL (p = 0.009), slowed conduction at its origin (fractionated potential 115 +/- 19 ms vs. 64 +/- 22 ms, representing 49 +/- 10% and 20 +/- 10% of tachycardia CL, respectively; p < 0.0001), and were more often contiguous with regions of electrical silence or conduction abnormalities (88% vs. 32%; p = 0.01). In addition, mapping documented varying degrees of intra-atrial conduction block, preferential conduction (n = 5), and rapid bursts of myocardial activity (n = 1). At 11 +/- 7 months, none have had recurrence of AT.

Conclusions: High-density multielectrode mapping can be used to perform vector mapping to localize complex AT. It provides novel insight into the mechanisms of focal AT, distinguishing focal AT from localized re-entry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2005.08.044DOI Listing
December 2005

Catheter ablation of long-lasting persistent atrial fibrillation: clinical outcome and mechanisms of subsequent arrhythmias.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2005 Nov;16(11):1138-47

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, Bordeaux-Pessac, France.

Background: Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) is challenging in patients with long-standing persistent AF. The clinical outcome and subsequent arrhythmia recurrence after using an ablation method targeting multiple left atrial sites with the aim of achieving acute AF termination has not been characterized.

Methods: Sixty patients (mean age: 53 +/- 9 years) with persistent AF (mean duration: 17 +/- 27 months) were prospectively followed after catheter ablation. Catheter ablation targeting the following sites was performed in a random sequence: (i) electrical isolation of all pulmonary veins (PV); (ii) disconnection of other thoracic veins; (iii) atrial ablation at sites possessing complex electrical activity, activation gradients, or short cycle lengths. Finally, linear ablation of the LA roof and mitral isthmus was performed if sinus rhythm was not restored following energy delivery to the above sites. At 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after ablation, patients underwent clinical review and 24-hour ambulatory ECG monitoring to identify asymptomatic arrhythmia. Repeat mapping and catheter ablation was performed in any patient experiencing recurrent atrial tachycardia (AT). Clinical success was defined as the absence of any sustained atrial arrhythmia.

Results: AF terminated during ablation in 52 patients (87%). The fluoroscopy and procedural durations were 84 +/- 30 minutes and 264 +/- 77 minutes, respectively. Three months after ablation, sustained ATs were documented in 24 patients (associated with AF in 2). Mapping in 23 patients showed a single AT in 7 while multiple ATs were observed in 16. Macroreentry was confirmed to be due to gaps in the ablation lines, while focal ATs originated from discrete sites or isthmuses near the left atrial appendage, coronary sinus, pulmonary veins, or fossa ovalis; these sites were similar to those at which the greatest impact was observed on the fibrillatory process during the initial ablation procedure. After repeat ablation, at 11 +/- 6 months of follow-up, 57 patients (95%) were in sinus rhythm and 3 developed recurrent AF or AT. All patients in sinus rhythm demonstrated improved exercise capacity and all but 2 had evidence of atrial transport as assessed by Doppler echocardiography (mitral A wave velocity 34 +/- 17 cm/sec) by 6 months.

Conclusion: Catheter ablation of long-lasting persistent AF associated with acute AF termination achieves medium to long-term restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm in 95% of patients. Arrhythmia recurrence in the majority of patients is AT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2005.00308.xDOI Listing
November 2005

Catheter ablation of long-lasting persistent atrial fibrillation: critical structures for termination.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2005 Nov;16(11):1125-37

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, Bordeaux-Pessac, France.

Background: The relative contributions of different atrial regions to the maintenance of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) are not known.

Methods: Sixty patients (53 +/- 9 years) undergoing catheter ablation of persistent AF (17 +/- 27 months) were studied. Ablation was performed in a randomized sequence at different left atrial (LA) regions and comprised isolation of the pulmonary veins (PV), isolation of other thoracic veins, and atrial tissue ablation targeting all regions with rapid or heterogeneous activation or guided by activation mapping. Finally, linear ablation at the roof and mitral isthmus was performed if sinus rhythm was not restored after addressing the above-mentioned areas. The impact of ablation was evaluated by the effect on the fibrillatory cycle length in the coronary sinus and appendages at each step. Activation mapping and entrainment maneuvers were used to define the mechanisms and locations of intermediate focal or macroreentrant atrial tachycardias.

Results: AF terminated in 52 patients (87%), directly to sinus rhythm in 7 or via the ablation of 1-6 intermediate atrial tachycardias (total 87) in 45 patients. This conversion was preceded by prolongation of fibrillatory cycle length by 39 +/- 9 msec, with the greatest magnitude occurring during ablation at the anterior LA, coronary sinus and PV-LA junction. Thirty-eight atrial tachycardias were focal (originating dominantly from these same sites), while 49 were macroreentrant (involving the mitral or cavotricuspid isthmus or LA roof). Patients without AF termination displayed shorter fibrillatory cycles at baseline: 130 +/- 14 vs 156 +/- 23 msec; P = 0.002.

Conclusion: Termination of persistent AF can be achieved in 87% of patients by catheter ablation. Ablation of the structures annexed to the left atrium-the left atrial appendage, coronary sinus, and PVs-have the greatest impact on the prolongation of AF cycle length, the conversion of AF to atrial tachycardia, and the termination of focal atrial tachycardias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2005.00307.xDOI Listing
November 2005

Spectral analysis identifies sites of high-frequency activity maintaining atrial fibrillation in humans.

Circulation 2005 Aug 1;112(6):789-97. Epub 2005 Aug 1.

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France.

Background: The identification of sites of dominant activation frequency during atrial fibrillation (AF) in humans and the effect of ablation at these sites have not been reported.

Methods And Results: Thirty-two patients undergoing AF ablation (19 paroxysmal, 13 permanent) during ongoing arrhythmia were studied. Electroanatomic mapping was performed, acquiring 126+/-13 points per patient throughout both atria and coronary sinus. At each point, 5-second electrograms were obtained to determine the highest-amplitude frequency on spectral analysis and to construct 3D dominant frequency (DF) maps. The temporal stability of the recording interval was confirmed in a subset. Ablation was performed with the operator blinded to the DF maps. The effect of ablation at sites with or without high-frequency DF sites (maximal frequencies surrounded by a decreasing frequency gradient > or =20%) was evaluated by determining the change in AF cycle length (AFCL) and the termination and inducibility of AF. The spatial distribution of the DF sites was different in patients with paroxysmal and permanent AF; paroxysmal AF patients were more likely to harbor the DF site within the pulmonary vein, whereas in permanent AF, atrial DF sites were more prevalent. Ablation at a DF site resulted in significant prolongation of the AFCL (180+/-30 to 198+/-40 ms; P<0.0001; kappa=0.77), whereas in the absence of a DF site, there was no change in AFCL (169+/-22 to 170+/-22 ms; P=0.4). AF terminated during ablation in 17 of 19 patients with paroxysmal and 0 of 13 with permanent AF (P<0.0001). When 2 patients with nonsustained AF during mapping were excluded, 13 of 15 (87%) had AF termination at DF sites (54% at the initially ablated DF site): 11 pulmonary veins and 2 atrial. In addition, AF could no longer be induced in 69% with termination of AF at a DF site. There were no significant differences in the number or percentage of DF sites detected (5.4+/-1.6 versus 4.9+/-2.1; P=0.3) and ablated (1.9+/-1.0 versus 2.4+/-1.0; P=0.3) in those with and without AF termination. The duration of radiofrequency ablation to achieve termination was significantly shorter than that delivered in those with persisting AF (34.8+/-24.0 versus 73.5+/-22.9 minutes; P=0.0002). All patients with persisting AF had additional DF sites outside the ablated zones.

Conclusions: Spectral analysis and frequency mapping identify localized sites of high-frequency activity during AF in humans with different distributions in paroxysmal and permanent AF. Ablation at these sites results in prolongation of the AFCL and termination of paroxysmal AF, indicating their role in the maintenance of AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.104.517011DOI Listing
August 2005