Repeat pulmonary vein isolation in patients with atrial fibrillation: low ablation index is associated with increased risk of recurrent arrhythmia

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OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate the predictors of recurrent arrhythmia after repeated pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) performed in the era of contact force without additional substrate ablation. One of the predictors studied, ablation index (AI), incorporates power, contact force, and time in a weighted formula and is reported to predict lesion size in animals. Design. Consecutive patients (n = 108) undergoing repeat PVI without additional substrate modification using a contact force sensing catheter were included retrospectively at a tertiary center. All ablation points were analyzed offline. A new variable, normalized AI (AI corrected for the location of the lesion-anterior vs. posterior) was calculated. The patients were systematically followed with clinical visit and 12-lead ECG as well as review of the regional electronic patient files at 3 and 12 months after the procedure with 5-day Holter at 12 months. Results. Electrical reconnection to at least one pulmonary vein (PV) was seen in 97% of the patients. The recurrence rate was 35%. There was no recurrence in patients with nAI above 1.15 (n = 26). Patients with electrical reconnection of up to two PVs had a higher risk of recurrence compared with patients having electrical reconnection of three or four PVs (p = .003), and this risk was especially high in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (69 [39-91]%). Conclusions. The risk of recurrence is higher in patients with ablations performed with low levels of AI and in patients with reconnection to up to two PVs. Our data may indicate the need for higher target levels of AI during repeat PVI than normally used during de-novo PVI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Cardiovascular Journal
Pages (from-to)29-34
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Atrial fibrillation, ablation index, contact force, recurrence, repeat ablation

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ID: 201776233