Esophageal deviation with vacuum suction and mechanical deflection during ablation of atrial fibrillation: First in man evaluation

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2021 Jan;32(1):67-70. doi: 10.1111/jce.14801. Epub 2020 Nov 11.


Deviation of the esophagus during atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation can reduce esophageal injury. This study reports upon a novel esophageal retractor that utilizes vacuum suction and mechanical deflection to deviate the esophagus. The device was used in seven patients undergoing cryoballoon AF ablation. The esophagus was deviated 31.9 ± 4.4 mm to the right and 28.2 ± 5.9 mm to the left. Endoscopy at 4.4 ± 1.5 days postablation showed no esophageal injury. This study demonstrates the safe and effective deviation of the esophagus without a trailing edge with an esophageal retractor utilizing vacuum suction and mechanical deflection.

Keywords: atrial fibrillation complications; esophageal fistulas; esophageal injury; esophageal protection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Esophagus / diagnostic imaging
  • Esophagus / surgery
  • Humans
  • Suction
  • Vacuum