Acute pulmonary vein reconnection is a predictor of atrial fibrillation recurrence following pulmonary vein isolation

  • Elad Anter
  • Fernando M. Contreras-Valdes
  • Alexei Shvilkin
  • Cory M. Tschabrunn
  • Mark E. Josephson



Arrhythmia recurrence following pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) occurs predominantly due to the reconnection of previously isolated pulmonary veins (PVs). The prognostic implications of detection and treatment of acute PV reconnection are not well understood. We aim to examine the prognostic significance of acute PV reconnection on arrhythmia recurrence at 1 year following PVI.


This prospective study included 44 patients (22 men, 60 ± 7 years) who underwent index PVI procedure for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). Acute PV reconnection and/or dormant PV conduction were assessed sequentially in response to a 30-min waiting period, intravenous isoproterenol infusion and/or adenosine. All cases of acute PV reconnection and/or dormant conduction were successfully targeted with additional ablation.


Freedom from AF at 1 year was 75 % (83.3 % in paroxysmal and 65 % in persistent AF, p = ns). Acute PV reconnection and/or dormant conduction were evident in 16 of 44 patients (36.3 %). AF recurrence was documented in eight of 16 patients with, but only in three of 28 patients without acute reconnection (p = 0.009). Three patients underwent a redo procedure, all from the group of patients with acute PV reconnection. In a multivariate model, acute PV reconnection was a strong independent predictor of arrhythmia recurrence (hazards ratio [HR], 6.36; 95 % confidence interval [CI], 1.12–31.6).


Identification of acute PV reconnection, even when successfully targeted, is a strong predictor of arrhythmia recurrence following PVI.


Atrial fibrillation Acute reconnection Pulmonary vein isolation Catheter ablation Recurrence 



Anti-arrhythmic drug


Atrial fibrillation


Body mass index


Left atrium


Left ventricular ejection fraction


Obstructive sleep apnea


Pulmonary vein


Pulmonary vein isolation


Conflict of interest

E. Anter received research grants from Biosense Webster and Rhythmia Medical. F.M. Contreras-Valdes, A. Shvilkin and C.M. Tschabrunn have no conflicts of interest. M.E. Josephson received research grants and speaking honoraria from Medtronic.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elad Anter
    • 1
  • Fernando M. Contreras-Valdes
    • 1
  • Alexei Shvilkin
    • 1
  • Cory M. Tschabrunn
    • 1
  • Mark E. Josephson
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard-Thorndike Electrophysiology Institute, Division of Cardiovascular Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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