Background: A detailed appreciation of left atrial/pulmonary vein (LA/PV) anatomy may be important in improving the safety and success of catheter ablation (CA) for atrial fibrillation (AF).
Objectives: The aim of this nonrandomized study was to determine the impact of computerized tomography (CT) image integration into a 3-dimensional (3D) mapping system on the clinical outcome of patients undergoing CA for AF.
Methods: Ninety-four patients (age: 56 +/- 10 years) with AF (paroxysmal 46, persistent 48) underwent wide encirclement of ipsilateral PV pairs using irrigated radiofrequency ablation with the endpoint of electrical isolation. Ablation was guided by 3D mapping alone (electroanatomic 24, noncontact 23) in 47 (3DM group) patients and by CT image integration (Cartomerge) in 47 (CT group). In persistent AF, a combination of linear ablation and targeted ablation of complex fractionated electrograms was also performed.
Results: Successful PV electrical isolation did not differ between the two groups. A significant reduction in fluoroscopy times was demonstrated in the CT group (49 +/- 27 minutes vs 3DM group 62 +/- 26 minutes, P = 0.03). Arrhythmia recurrence was reduced in the CT group (32% vs 51% in the 3DM group, P < 0.01). In 30 symptomatic patients (12 CT and 18 3DM), repeat procedures for AF (13 in 3DM and 5 CT, P < or = 0.10) and AT (5 in 3DM and 7 CT, P = NS) were performed. Overall success on 7-day monitor off antiarrhythmic drugs was achieved in 60% in the 3DM group when compared with 83% in the CT group (P < 0.05) at a follow-up of 25 +/- 5 weeks.
Conclusion: CA for AF guided by CT integration was associated with reduced fluoroscopy times, arrhythmia recurrence, and increased restoration of sinus rhythm. Improved visualization of complex LA geometries might improve the safety and success of CA for AF.