Regular atrial tachycardias developing after cryoballoon pulmonary vein isolation: incidence, characteristics, and predictors

Europace. 2013 Dec;15(12):1710-7. doi: 10.1093/europace/eut129. Epub 2013 May 19.


Aims: Cryoballoon ablation (CBA) is a well-used technique when performing pulmonary vein (PV) isolation in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). Our aim is to describe incidence, characteristics, and clinical predictors for developing atrial tachycardias (ATs) after cryoballoon PV isolation in patients with paroxysmal AF.

Methods and results: The study population consisted of 181 consecutive patients undergoing a first CBA. All patients received an event-recorder before cryoablation and transmitted daily electrocardiogram (ECG) during 1 month before ablation and 3 months after. Further follow-up consisted of 24 h Holter monitoring and ECG registration every 3 months and also in patients presenting with symptoms. A mean follow-up period was 497.9 ± 283.9 days, and 175 patients completed follow-up. In 14 (8%) patients regular ATs were registered. In multivariate logistic regression model, the following parameters were independently associated with ATs after ablation: an additional right PV, treatment with beta-blockers, and presence of AT on event-recording strips before ablation. Seven (4%) patients with registered AT underwent a redo procedure. In two (1.1%) patients ATs were originated in reconnected PVs. In other patients no left AT was induced. No macro re-entrant left AT was documented in any patient. During follow-up, after a redo ablation, no AT was registered.

Conclusion: The incidence of left AT after CBA is low, and no left atrial macro re-entrant tachycardia was found. The following independent predictors of AT development have been identified: an additional right PV, regular AT registered before ablation, and the use of beta-blockers.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Atrial tachycardia; Cryoballoon ablation; Recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation / adverse effects*
  • Catheter Ablation / methods
  • Cryosurgery / adverse effects*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulmonary Veins / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Veins / surgery*
  • Reoperation
  • Risk Factors
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / epidemiology*
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / physiopathology
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / surgery
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents