Comparison of the Point-by-Point versus Catheter Dragging Technique for Curative Radiofrequency Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation


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Abstract

Background:The relationship between the applied techniques and clinical outcomes after radiofrequency (RF) ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) remains unclear. We compared the results of ablation by RF delivered via a point-by-point versus catheter dragging technique for the treatment of AF.Methods:This study included 66 patients with drug-refractory AF who underwent circumferential pulmonary vein (PV) ablation. A point-by-point technique was used in 35 (53%) patients (Group I), and catheter dragging technique in the remaining 31 (47%) patients (Group II). If AF persisted or remained inducible after the PV isolation, additional ablation of complex fractionated atrial electrograms and linear ablation were performed.Results:Significantly, fewer RF applications were delivered in Group II than in Group I. The total RF energy duration delivered was comparable between the two groups (P = 0.55). However, the total energy of RF deliveries was significantly greater in Group II than in Group I (P = 0.02). Despite a longer fluoroscopic exposure time (P = 0.01), the total procedural duration was significantly shorter in Group II than in Group I (P = 0.005). Within 3 months after a single ablation procedure, 24 patients (69%) in Group I versus 13 patients (42%) in Group II had ≥1 recurrence(s) of atrial tachyarrhythmias (P = 0.03). A multivariate analysis showed that a point-by-point ablation was the only independent predictor of early atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrences.Conclusions:The catheter dragging technique for ablation of AF was associated with a lower early recurrence rate of atrial tachyarrhythmias than the point-by-point technique. (PACE 2011; 15-22)

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