Low-fluoroscopy atrial fibrillation ablation with contact force and ultrasound technologies: a learning curve. Pragmatic and observational research Zei, P. C., Hunter, T. D., Gache, L. M., O'Riordan, G., Baykaner, T., Brodt, C. R. 2019; 10: 1–7

Abstract

Background: Fluoroscopy exposure during catheter ablation is a health hazard to patients and operators. This study presents the results of implementing a low-fluoroscopy workflow using modern contact force (CF) technologies in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) ablation.Methods: A fluoroscopy reduction workflow was implemented and subsequent catheter ablations for PAF were evaluated. After vascular access with ultrasound guidance, a THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH Catheter (ST) was advanced into the right atrium. The decapolar catheter was placed without fluoroscopy. A double-transseptal puncture was performed under intracardiac echocardiography guidance. ST and mapping catheters were advanced into the left atrium. A left atrial map was created, and pulmonary vein (PV) isolation was confirmed via entrance and exit block before and after the administration of isoproterenol or adenosine.Results: Forty-three patients underwent PAF ablation with fluoroscopy reduction workflow (mean age: 66±9 years; 70% male), performed by five operators. Acute success rate (PV isolation) was 96.5% of PVs. One case of pericardial effusion, not requiring intervention, was the only acute complication. Mean procedure time was 217±42 minutes. Mean fluoroscopy time was 2.3±3.0 minutes, with 97.7% of patients having < 10 minutes and 86.0% having < 5 minutes. A significant downward trend over time was observed, suggesting a rapid learning curve for fluoroscopy reduction. Freedom from any atrial arrhythmias without reablation was 80.0% after a mean follow-up of 12±3 months.Conclusion: Low fluoroscopy time is achievable with CF technologies after a short learning curve, without compromising patient safety or effectiveness.

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