What have we learned of ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation?

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Abstract

Atrial fibrillation is a widespread disease of growing clinical, economic and social importance. Interventional therapy for atrial fibrillation offers encouraging results, with pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) as the established cornerstone. Yet, the challenge to create durable transmural lesions remains, leading to recurrence of atrial fibrillation in long-term follow-up even after multiple ablation procedures in 20% of patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and approximately 50% with persistent atrial fibrillation. To overcome these limitations, innovative tools such as the cryoballoon and contact force catheters have been introduced and have demonstrated their potential for safe and effective PVI. Furthermore, advanced pharmacological and pacing manoeuvres enhance evaluation of conduction block in PVI.

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