In contrast with traditional radiofrequency ablation, little is known about the influence of cryoballoon ablation on the morphology of pulmonary veins (PVs). We evaluated the influence of cryoballoon ablation on the PV dimension (PVD) and investigated the factors associated with a reduction of the PVD.Methods and Results—
Seventy-four patients who underwent cryoballoon ablation for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation were included in the present study. All subjects underwent contrast-enhanced computed tomography both before and at 3 months after the procedure. The PVD (cross-sectional area) was measured using a 3-dimensional electroanatomical mapping system. Each PV was evaluated according to the PVD reduction rate (ΔPVD), which was calculated as follows: (1−post-PVD/pre-PVD)×100 (%). Ninety-two percent of the PVs (271/296) were successfully isolated only by cryoballoon ablation; the remaining 8% of the PVs required touch-up ablation and were excluded from the analysis. Mild (25%–50%), moderate (50%–75%), and severe (≥75%) ΔPVD values were observed in 87, 14, and 3 PVs, respectively, including 1 case with severe left superior PV stenosis (ΔPVD: 94%) in a patient who required PV angioplasty. In multivariable analysis, a larger PV ostium and lower minimum freezing temperature during cryoballoon ablation were independently associated with PV narrowing (odds ratio, 1.773; P=0.01; and odds ratio, 1.137; P<0.001, respectively).Conclusions—
A reduction of the PVD was often observed after cryoballoon ablation for atrial fibrillation. A larger PV ostium and lower minimum freezing temperature during cryoballoon ablation were associated with an increased risk of PVD reduction.