Purpose: In this study, we analyzed PFO implications in atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation.
Methods: Six hundred and twenty-five consecutive patients with AF undergoing PV isolation were included. We considered that a large and/or compliant PFO was present if the catheters advanced gently into the LA without puncturing the septum. Atrial tachyarrhythmias after the 3-month blanking period were classified as a recurrence.
Results: Out of the 625 patients included, 36 (5.8%) were found to have PFO. No significant differences were observed in the clinical characteristics of patients with PFO compared with patients without PFO. Nevertheless, patients with PFO had lower acute success in PV isolation compared with patients without PFO (98.2% vs. 88.5%; p = 0.006) even after adjusting for age, sex, type of AF, LA area, cardiomyopathy, time from AF diagnosis to the ablation, and ablation technique (odds ratio: 0.1; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.02-0.9; p = 0.039). In 546 patients followed more than 6 months, the recurrence rate of any atrial tachyarrhythmia after 18.6 ± 11.9 months was significantly higher in patients with PFO compared with patients without PFO (41.9 vs. 70%; p = 0.012). This difference remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, type of AF, LA area, cardiomyopathy, time from AF diagnosis to the ablation, and ablation technique (hazard ratio: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1-3.3; p = 0.015).
Conclusions: The presence of a large and/or compliant PFO is an independent factor for PV isolation failure and arrhythmia recurrence rate after the ablation.
Keywords: Ablation; Atrial fibrillation; Patent foramen ovale; Pulmonary vein isolation; Recurrence.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.