Bi-directional electrical pulmonary vein isolation as an endpoint for ablation of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

  • Vidal Essebag
  • John V. WylieJr.
  • Matthew R. Reynolds
  • Ferdinando Baldessin
  • Seth McClennen
  • Alexei Shvilkin
  • Joseph Germano
  • Allison Richardson
  • Peter J. Zimetbaum
  • Mark E. Josephson



Various approaches to pulmonary vein (PV) isolation have shown variable efficacy in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). The purpose of this study is to report the efficacy and safety of routine isolation of all PVs using an endpoint of bi-directional electrical block.

Materials and methods

This study included 85 consecutive patients who underwent PV isolation for symptomatic paroxysmal AF. Complete isolation of all PVs was confirmed by demonstration of bi-directional block: (a) loss of all PV potentials, and (b) failure to capture the left atrium by pacing 10–14 bipolar pairs of electrodes on a circumferential catheter placed at the entrance of the PV at 10 mA with 2 ms pulse width. Induction of AF by burst pacing was attempted after PV isolation.


Freedom from symptomatic or asymptomatic AF (detected by event recorder or Holter monitor) was present in 85% and 76% of patients at 6 and 12 months. Additional mitral isthmus or posterior left atrial lines were performed in seven patients with inducible atrial arrhythmias after PV isolation. Atrial tachycardia occurred in three of these patients during long-term follow-up and in two of the 78 patients without additional ablation.


The use of bi-directional block circumferentially across all PV ostia as an electrophysiological endpoint may improve results of PV isolation for paroxysmal AF. Avoidance of routine additional left atrial ablation lines may decrease the risk of atrial tachycardia and esophageal fistula.


Catheter ablation Atrium Fibrillation Electrophysiology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vidal Essebag
    • 1
  • John V. WylieJr.
    • 1
  • Matthew R. Reynolds
    • 1
  • Ferdinando Baldessin
    • 1
  • Seth McClennen
    • 1
  • Alexei Shvilkin
    • 1
  • Joseph Germano
    • 1
  • Allison Richardson
    • 1
  • Peter J. Zimetbaum
    • 1
  • Mark E. Josephson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Harvard-Thorndike Electrophysiology Institute Cardiovascular DivisionBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA

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