Introduction: Catheter ablation of a case of incessant atrial fibrillation was attempted using linear right atrial lesions created by sequential applications of radiofrequency energy.
Methods and results: A 46-year-old patient had incessant episodes of atrial fibrillation. He had previously undergone successful radiofrequency catheter ablation of a common atrial flutter. Antiarrhythmic drugs including amiodarone and various drug combinations were ineffective. A 7-French specially designed 14-polar catheter with interelectrode distance of 3 mm was used to create linear lesions in the right atrium. Each electrode was 4 mm in length and able to transmit radiofrequency energy. Three linear lesions, two longitudinal and one transverse that connected the two longitudinal lesions, were created using 30 radiofrequency applications of 10 to 40 W. The final application interrupted an atrial fibrillation that had been persistent for 55 minutes. No sustained atrial fibrillation was inducible despite repeated pacing maneuvers. There was no complication. In short-term follow-up of 3 months, the patient has been free of arrhythmias without antiarrhythmic medication.
Conclusion: Successful catheter ablation of human atrial fibrillation is feasible using linear atrial lesions created by radiofrequency energy delivery. Further studies are mandatory to ascertain the efficacy and safety of this procedure, as well as to assess different catheter techniques.