Background: Catheter ablation utilizing radiofrequency (RF), Cryothermal (Cryo), or Laser energy is effective for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). Late gadolinium enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (LGE-MRI) has been used to estimate the burden of left atrial (LA) fibrosis, but no data exist regarding structural changes following each modality. We sought to compare the baseline to postprocedure change in LA scar burden following RF, Cryo, or Laser ablation for treatment of AF.
Methods: Seventeen patients with AF underwent initial pulmonary vein (PV) isolation (PVI) using RF (n = 7), Cryo (n = 5), and Laser (n = 5). LGE-MRI was performed prior to and at 24 hours and 3 months after PVI.
Results: In a linear mixed-effects model, accounting for intrapatient clustering of data and interpatient differences in baseline scar, LGE extent was significantly increased at 24 hours postablation (+14.6 ± 1.9% of LA myocardium, P < 0.001), and remained stable from 24 hours to 3 months (+0.12 ± 1.9%, P = 0.951). There was no statistically significant difference between the postablation scar extent among ablation modalities when compared to RF (Cryo +4.5 ± 3.0%, P = 0.123; Laser -3.2 ± 3.0%, P = 0.291). The PV antral LGE intensity was increased by 25.1 ± 3.8% (P<0.001) 24 hours after ablation and additionally increased by 8.1 ± 3.8 at 3 months (P = 0.033).
Conclusions: Radiofrequency, Cryo, and laser ablation result in increased LGE extent and intensity at 24 hours and 3 months postablation. No statistically significant difference was noted in the extent of fibrosis induced by any modality.
Keywords: Cryothermal; Laser; ablation; atrial fibrillation; imaging; radiofrequency.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.