Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation burden before and after pulmonary veins isolation: an observational study through a subcutaneous leadless cardiac monitor

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2013 Oct;24(10):1075-82. doi: 10.1111/jce.12190. Epub 2013 Jun 21.


Aims: Data on the success rate of ablation in atrial fibrillation (AF) are controversial. Our hypothesis is that the efficacy must be evaluated considering the AF burden (AFB) before the procedure. Moreover, the clinical significance of early recurrence (ERAT) of AF or atrial tachyarrhythmias (AT) is debatable. The aim is to describe the outcome of pulmonary vein isolation in paroxysmal AF through a subcutaneous cardiac monitor (ICM) implanted before the procedure.

Methods: Using CARTO 3, circumferential lesions around the pulmonary veins were placed. The study endpoint was the first documented recurrence of AF/AT by ICM after the blanking period (3 months). AFB (percentage of time in AF/AT) was collected every month before and after the procedure during the 12-month follow-up.

Results: The ICM was implanted 94 ± 23 days before the procedure in 35 patients with paroxysmal AF (54 ± 11 years, refractory to 1.8 ± 0.6 antiarrhythmic drugs). Cumulative AFB before the procedure and after the blanking period was 2.5% (1-5%) versus 0% (0-0.25%), P < 0.001. Twenty patients (57.1%) were free of documented AF/AT recurrence, 5 patients (14.2%) reduced the AFB 90%, 6 patients (17.1%) continued the same, and 4 patients (11.4%) increased the AFB 90% for AT. The success rate with second procedure was 71.4%. All 13 patients with ERAT had recurrence after the blanking period.

Conclusions: The outcome of pulmonary vein isolation in patients with paroxysmal AF is well documented by an ICM. The success rate is dependent of the previous AFB that can be randomly variable and lower than expected. ERATs predict late recurrence.

Keywords: Reveal monitor; antiarrhythmic drugs; atrial fibrillation; catheter ablation; pulmonary vein isolation.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Electrocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Veins / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Veins / surgery*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / etiology
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / physiopathology
  • Telemetry / instrumentation*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome