Introduction: Circumferential pulmonary vein ablation (CPVA) with the endpoint of pulmonary vein (PV) isolation has been developed as an effective therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF). This endpoint can be achieved either by closing gaps along circular lines or by segmental PV isolation inside the circular lines after creation of initial CPVA lesions. We investigated whether the clinical outcome depends on the PV isolation approach used during the first-time CPVA procedure.
Methods and results: One hundred consecutive patients (69 male; age, 56.7 +/- 11.6 years) who underwent first-time CPVA for treatment of symptomatic AF were enrolled. PV isolation was randomly achieved either by CPVA alone (aggressive CPVA [A-CPVA] group, n = 50) or by a combination of CPVA with segmental PV ostia ablation (modified CPVA [M-CPVA] group, n = 50). Recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmias (ATa) within 3 months after the initial procedure occurred in 30 patients (60%) in the M-CPVA group and in only 15 patients (30%) in the A-CPVA group (P < 0.01). ATa relapse after the first 3 months was detected in 21 patients (42%) in the M-CPVA group, compared with 9 patients (18%) in the A-CPVA group (P = 0.01). At 13 +/- 4 months, patients treated by the A-CPVA approach had greater freedom from ATa recurrence than patients who underwent M-CPVA (P = 0.01). The M-CPVA approach was the only independent predictor associated with procedural failure (RR 0.318; 95% CI 0.123-0.821; P = 0.02).
Conclusions: When PV isolation is the endpoint of CPVA, the efficacy of the A-CPVA approach is better than that of M-CPVA.