The mechanisms for atrial fibrillation (AF) are unclear in part because diverse mapping techniques yield diverse maps, ranging from stable organized sources to highly disordered waves. We hypothesized that AF mechanisms may be clarified if mapping techniques were compared in the same patients, and referenced to a clinical endpoint. We compared two independent AF mapping techniques in patients in whom ablation terminated persistent AF before pulmonary vein isolation (PVI).We identified 12 patients with persistent AF (61.2 ± 10.8 years, four female) in whom mapping with 64 pole baskets and technique 1 (activation/phase mapping, FIRM) identified rotational activation patterns during at least 50% of the 4-second mapping interval and targeted ablation at these rotational sites terminated AF to sinus rhythm (n = 10) or atrial tachycardia. We analyzed the unipolar electrograms of these patients to determine phase maps of activation by an independent technique 2 (Kuklik, Schotten et al., IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2015). Compared to technique 1, technique 2 revealed a source in 12 of 12 (100%) cases with spatial concordance in all cases (P <0.05) and similar rotational characteristics.At sites where ablation terminated persistent AF, two independent mapping techniques identified stable rotational activation for multiple cycles that drove peripheral disorder. Future comparative studies referenced to a clinical endpoint may help reconcile if discrepancies between AF mapping studies reports represent techniques, patient populations or models of AF, and improve mapping to better guide ablation.
View details for DOI 10.1111/jce.13177
View details for PubMedID 28185348