Outcomes and Management of Patients With Severe Pulmonary Vein Stenosis From Prior Atrial Fibrillation Ablation
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Background: Pulmonary vein (PV) stenosis remains a feared complication of atrial fibrillation ablation. Little is known about outcomes in patients with severe PV stenosis, especially about repeat ablations.
Methods: In 10 368 patients undergoing atrial fibrillation ablation (2000–2015), computed tomography scans were obtained 3 to 6 months after ablation. The clinical outcomes in severe PV stenosis were determined.
RESULTS: Severe PV stenosis was diagnosed in 52 patients (0.5%). This involved mostly the left superior PV (51% of severely stenosed veins). Percutaneous interventions were performed in 43 patients, and complications occurred in 5: 3 PV ruptures, 1 stroke, and 1 phrenic injury. Over a median follow-up of 25 months, 41 (79%) patients remained arrhythmia free. Repeat ablation was performed in 15 patients (7 from the main series and 8 from prior ablation at other institutions); of whom 10 had PV stents in place. Conduction recovery was noted in all but 2 of the stenosed or stented PVs, and areas with recovery were targeted with antral ablation. Lasso entrapment within stents occurred in 2 patients but eventually freed without complications. After redo ablation, preplanned stenting was performed in 3 patients and computed tomographic scans showed progression of concomitant stenoses in 1 patient (moderate to severe). No procedure-related deaths occurred.
Conclusions: The incidence of severe PV stenosis is low but remains associated with significant morbidity. In patients with recurrent arrhythmia, conduction recovery at the stenosed or stented veins is common. Care must be taken to ablate antrally to avoid stenosis progression. In patients with prior PV stents, we suggest to avoid using Lasso.
- Received November 1, 2017.
- Accepted March 12, 2018.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.