Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is an accepted treatment to relieve symptoms in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We studied 3 year outcome after PVI guided by duty-cycled multi-electrode radiofrequency (RF) ablation (pulmonary vein ablation catheter, PVAC) and provided comparative data to outcome after conventional PVI (CPVI) using mapping with irrigated, point-per-point RF ablation.Methods and results
One hundred and sixty-one consecutive patients with symptomatic paroxysmal or persistent AF and minimal heart disease underwent PVI (PVAC, n = 79 vs. CPVI, n = 82). Follow-up (with symptom-guided rhythm monitoring) was truncated at 3 years in all patients. Success was defined as freedom of documented arrhythmia after a single procedure and without antiarrhythmic drug treatment (ADT). Baseline characteristics did not differ between both groups. At 3 years follow-up, single-procedure success without ADT was comparable between PVAC and CPVI (65% vs. 55%, P = NS). The majority of recurrences occurred during the first year (PVAC 79% vs. CPVI 70%, P = NS). The annual rate of very late recurrence (i.e. beyond 1 year) was similar in both groups (10.5% vs. 15%, P = NS).Conclusion
At 3 years follow-up, outcome after PVAC-guided PVI is comparable to conventional isolation by irrigated point-by-point RF ablation. In both strategies, the majority of recurrences occurred in the first year of ablation.