Unfortunately, many clinical studies have shown that traditional techniques often require multiple repeated procedures (sometimes called “touch-ups”) to achieve a reasonable rate of success. Studies have also shown that traditional techniques are much less effective with patients who have longer-term atrial fibrillation (also known as persistent Afib or permanent Afib), heart disease, and patients who have certain common conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, obesity, and obstructive sleep apnea.1-5
In addition, as is the case with any invasive procedure, catheter ablation is not without risk. The rate of complications is as high as ~15%, and can include stroke, nerve damage, and damage to vital structures.6 Therefore, a solution that effectively treats Afib with a single procedure (or as few procedures as possible) is clearly attractive. Single procedure success may also be desirable from the perspective of cost savings, in that the patient is not burdened with additional co-payments or related cardiac ablation costs that are not covered by their health insurance plan.
- Baykaner T, Clopton P, Lalani GG et al. Targeted Ablation at Stable Atrial Fibrillation Sources Improves Success Over Conventional Ablation in High-Risk Patients: A Substudy of the CONFIRM Trial. Canadian J Cardiol 2013; 29:1218-1226.
- Chilukuri K, Dalal D, Gadrey S, et al. A prospective study evaluating the role of obesity and obstructive sleep apnea for outcomes after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2010;21(5):521–525.
- Hoyer FF, Lickett LM, Mittmann-Braun E, et al. High prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in patients with resistant paroxysmal atrial fibrillation after pulmonary vein isolation. J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2010;29(1):37–41.
- Jongnarangsin K, Chugh A, Good E, et al. Body mass index, obstructive sleep apnea, and outcomes of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2008; 19(7):668-672.
- Narayan SM, Baykaner T, Clopton P, et al. Ablation of Rotor and Focal Sources Reduces Late Recurrance of Atrial Fibrillation Compared to Trigger Ablation Alone. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014, 02.543.
- Packer DL, Kowal RC, Wheelan KR, et al. Cryoballoon ablation of pulmonary veins for paroxysmal AF- First results of the North American Arctic Front (STOP AF) Pivotal Trial. J Am Coll Cardiol 2013;61(16):1-11.