Long-term outcome following successful catheter ablation of atrial tachycardia originating from the pulmonary veins: Absence of late atrial fibrillation

Andrew W. Teh, Jonathan M. Kalman, Caroline Medi, Raphael Rosso, Richard Balasubramaniam, Geoffrey Lee, Karen Halloran, Paul B. Sparks, Joseph B. Morton, Jitendra K. Vohra, Peter M. Kistler

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Atrial Fibrillation and Pulmonary Vein Tachycardia. Objectives: This study aimed to characterize the long-term outcome and incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients following catheter ablation of focal atrial tachycardia (AT) from the pulmonary veins (PV). Background: Although both AT and AF may originate from ectopic foci within PVs, it is unknown whether PV AT patients subsequently develop AF. Methods: Twenty-eight patients with 29 PV ATs (14%) from a consecutive series of 194 patients who underwent RFA for focal AT were included. Patients with concomitant AF prior to the index procedure were excluded. Results: The minimum follow-up duration was 4 years; mean age 38 ± 18 years with symptoms for 6.5 ± 10 years, having tried 1.5 ± 0.9 antiarrhythmic drugs. The distribution of foci was: left superior 12 (41%), right superior 10 (34%), left inferior 5 (17%), and right inferior 2 (7%). The focus was ostial in 93% and 2-4 cm distally within the vein in 7%. Mean tachycardia cycle length was 364 ± 90 ms. Focal ablation was performed in 25 of 28 patients. There were 6 recurrences with 5 from the original site. Twenty-six patients were available for long-term clinical follow-up. At a mean of 7.2 ± 2.1 years, 25 of 26 (96%) were free from recurrence off antiarrhythmic drugs. No patients developed AF. Conclusions: Focal ablation for tachycardia originating from the PVs is associated with long-term freedom from both AT and AF. Therefore, although PV AT and PV AF share a common anatomic distribution, PV AT is a distinct clinical entity successfully treated with focal RFA and not associated with AF in the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-750
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • atrial fibrillation
  • atrial tachycardia
  • pulmonary veins
  • radiofrequency ablation

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