The impact of early cryoballoon ablation on clinical outcome in patients with atrial fibrillation: From the Korean cryoballoon ablation registry

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2024 Jan;35(1):69-77. doi: 10.1111/jce.16122. Epub 2023 Nov 5.


Introduction: Influence of early atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, particularly cryoballoon ablation (CBA), on clinical outcome during long-term follow-up has not been clarified. The objective was to determine whether an early CBA (diagnosis-to-ablation of ≤6 months) strategy could affect freedom from AF recurrence after index CBA.

Methods: The study included 2605 patients from Korean CBA registry data with follow-up >12 months after de novo CBA. The primary outcome was recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmias (ATs) of ≥30-s after a 3-month blanking period.

Results: Compared to patients in early CBA group, patients in late CBA group had higher prevalence of diabetes, congestive heart failure, and chronic kidney disease, and higher mean CHA2 DS2 -VAS score. During mean follow-up of >21 months, ATs recurrence was detected in 839 (32.2%) patients. The early CBA group showed a significantly lower 2-year recurrence rate of ATs than the late CBA group (26.1% vs. 31.7%, p = 0.043). In subgroup analysis, the early CBA group showed significantly higher 1-year and 2-year freedom from ATs recurrence than the late CBA group only in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) patients in overall and propensity score matched cohorts. Multivariate analysis showed that early CBA was an independent factor for preventing ATs recurrence in PAF (hazard ratio: 0.637; 95% confidence intervals: 0.412-0.984).

Conclusion: Early CBA strategy, resulting in significantly lower ATs recurrence during 2-year follow-up after index CBA, might be considered as an initial rhythm control therapy in patients with paroxysmal AF.

Keywords: atrial fibrillation; cryoballoon ablation; early; registry.

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Cryosurgery* / adverse effects
  • Cryosurgery* / methods
  • Heart Atria
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Veins* / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome