Atrial fibrillation recurrences during the blanking period after catheter ablation with the laser balloon technique

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2023 Dec;34(12):2443-2451. doi: 10.1111/jce.16087. Epub 2023 Sep 28.


Introduction: Regardless of the catheter ablation (CA) for atrial fibrillation (AF) strategy, the role of early recurrences during the blanking period (BP) is still unclear. Our aim was to evaluate atrial tachyarrhythmias (ATAs) recurrences during the BP after CA with the laser-balloon (LB) technique.

Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing LBCA were enrolled. Primary outcome of the study was the overall crude ATA recurrence rate during the BP. ATA recurrences after the BP and in-hospital readmissions during the BP were deemed secondary outcomes.

Results: Two hundred and twenty-four patients underwent CA with the LB. Median age was 63.0 (55.5-69.5) years and 74.1% were males. 28.6% were persistent AF patients, and 34.8% of patients were followed up with a loop recorder. 15.6% of patients experienced at least an ATA recurrence during the BP. Male sex, chronic heart failure, persistent AF, and recurrences during the BP were found to be associated with long-term ATA recurrences. Recurrences during the BP remained associated with the outcome of interest at multivariate analysis (hazard ratio [HR] = 12.393, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 3.699-41.865, p < .001). An association over time was found between early and late recurrences, with 73.7%, 45.5%, and 10.8% of patients presenting with recurrences at 1-, 2-, and 3-month follow-up being free from recurrences after the BP, respectively. 8.0% of patients were readmitted during the BP: 4.5% for AF electrical cardioversion, and 1.8% for CA of other atrial arrhythmias; no redo CA was performed.

Conclusion: After adjusting for confounders, ATA recurrences during the BP represent the most significant predictor of ATA recurrences after the BP, regardless of AF pattern.

Keywords: BP; atrial fibrillation; catheter ablation; emergency department; laser-balloon.

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Catheter Ablation* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Veins* / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome