Tailored Atrial Substrate Modification Based On Low-Voltage Areas in Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation
Background—Reduced electrogram amplitude has been shown to correlate with diseased myocardium. We describe a novel individualized approach for catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) based on low-voltage areas (LVAs) in the left atrium (LA). We sought to assess (a) the incidence of LVAs in patients undergoing AF catheter ablation, (b) the distribution of LVAs within the LA, and (c) the impact of an individualized ablation strategy on long-term rhythm outcomes.
Methods and Results—In 178 patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF, LA voltage maps were created during sinus rhythm after circumferential pulmonary vein isolation. Subsequent substrate modification was confined to the presence of LVA (<0.5mV) and inducible regular atrial tachycardias (AT). LVA were identified in 35% and 10% of patients with persistent and paroxysmal AF, respectively. The LA roof and the anterior, septal, and posterior wall LA were most often affected. The 12-months AT/AF free survival was 62% for patients without LVAs and 70% for patients with LVAs and tailored substrate modification (p=0.3). Success rate in a comparison group of 26 LVA patients without further substrate modification was 27%.
Conclusions—LVAs can be found at preferred sites in 10% of patients with paroxysmal AF, and in 35% of patients with persistent AF. This is the first clinical report describing a consistent voltage-based approach for substrate modification in addition to circumferential PVI irrespective of AF type. Application of this limited individualized approach may have the potential to compensate for the impaired 12-months outcome of patients with endocardial structural defects.
- Received January 8, 2013.
- Revision received July 27, 2014.
- Accepted August 3, 2014.