Despite the technological advance in 3-dimensional (3D) mapping, radiation exposure during catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) continues to be a major concern in both patients and physicians. Previous studies reported substantial radiation exposure (7369–8690 cGy cm2) during AF catheter ablation with fluoroscopic settings of 7.5 frames per second (FPS) under 3D mapping system guidance. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of a low-frame-rate fluoroscopy protocol for catheter ablation for AF.
Retrospective analysis of data on 133 patients who underwent AF catheter ablation with 3-D electro-anatomic mapping at our institute from January 2014 to May 2015 was performed. Since January 2014, fluoroscopy frame rate of 4-FPS was implemented at our institute, which was further decreased to 2-FPS in September 2014. We compared the radiation exposure quantified as dose area product (DAP) and effective dose (ED) between the 4-FPS (n = 57) and 2-FPS (n = 76) groups.
The 4-FPS group showed higher median DAP (599.9 cGy cm2; interquartile range [IR], 371.4–1337.5 cGy cm2 vs. 392.0 cGy cm2; IR, 289.7–591.4 cGy cm2; P < .01), longer median fluoroscopic time (24.4 min; IR, 17.5–34.9 min vs. 15.1 min; IR, 10.7–20.1 min; P < .01), and higher median ED (1.1 mSv; IR, 0.7–2.5 mSv vs. 0.7 mSv; IR, 0.6–1.1 mSv; P < .01) compared with the 2-FPS group. No major procedure-related complications such as cardiac tamponade were observed in either group. Over follow-up durations of 331 ± 197 days, atrial tachyarrhythmia recurred in 20 patients (35.1%) in the 4-FPS group and in 27 patients (35.5%) in the 2-FPS group (P = .96). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis revealed no significant different between the 2 groups (log rank, P = .25).
In conclusion, both the 4-FPS and 2-FPS settings were feasible and emitted a relatively low level of radiation compared with that historically reported for DAP in a conventional fluoroscopy setting.