Author(s): Cutler MJ, Johnson J, Abozguia K, Rowan S, Lewis W,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Fibrosis as a substrate for atrial fibrillation (AF) has been shown in numerous preclinical models. Voltage mapping enables in vivo assessment of scar in the left atrium (LA), which can be targeted with catheter ablation. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that using the presence or absence of low voltage to guide ablation beyond pulmonary vein antral isolation (PVAI) will improve atrial arrhythmia (AF/AT)-free survival in persistent AF. METHODS AND RESULTS: Single-center retrospective analysis of 2 AF ablation strategies: (1) standard ablation (SA) versus (2) voltage-guided ablation (VGA). PVAI was performed in both groups. With SA, additional lesions beyond PVAI were performed at the discretion of the operator. With VGA, additional lesions to isolate the LA posterior wall were performed if voltage mapping of this region in sinus rhythm showed scar (LA voltage < 0.5 mV). AF-/AT-free endpoint was defined as no sustained AF/AT seen off antiarrhythmic medications after a 2-month postablation blanking period. Seventy-six patients underwent SA and 65 underwent VGA. Patients were well matched for comorbidities, LVEF, and left atrial size. Posterior wall ablation was performed in 57\% of patient with SA compared to 42\% with VGA. VGA ablation increased 1-year AF-/AT-free survival in patients when compared to SA (80\% vs. 57\%; P = 0.005). In a multivariate analysis, VGA was the only independent predictor of AF-/AT-free survival (hazard ratio of 0.30; P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: The presence of LA posterior wall scar may be an important ablation target in persistent AF. A prospective randomized trial is needed to confirm these data. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This article was published in J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol
and referenced in Arrhythmia: Open Access