2019 Volume 83 Issue 2 Pages 304-312
Background: The Substrate and Trigger Ablation for Reduction of Atrial Fibrillation Trial Part II (STAR-AF2) emphasized the importance of circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) during AF ablation.
Methods and Results: This study involved 2,297 consecutive patients (mean age, 58±11 years; 73.1% male, 70.1% paroxysmal AF) undergoing AF ablation from 2009 to 2017. We investigated the ablation lesion set, ablation time, catheter type, and clinical outcomes. Over the 9 years, the extra-pulmonary vein (PV) left atrial (LA) ablation rate (76.8% to 19.4%, P<0.001 for trend) and ablation time (P<0.001 for trend) decreased dramatically, whereas the 1-year recurrence rates decreased (21.8% to 14.1%, P=0.04 for trend). In persistent AF patients, the extra-PV LA ablation rate (91.4% to 55.3%, P<0.001) and ablation time (P<0.001) decreased after the STAR-AF2 report, but the 1-year recurrence rates remained similar (22.1% to 17.9%, P=0.281). A mesh-type flexible tip (MFT) catheter with a moderately increased radiofrequency power was used since 2012, and the MFT catheter was independently associated with a lower clinical recurrence compared to other irrigated-tip catheters (HR, 0.670; 95% CI: 0.559–0.803, P<0.001; log rank P=0.002) without increasing the procedure-related complications (OR, 1.434; 95% CI: 0.937–2.194, P=0.097).
Conclusions: Over the 9 years the extra-PV LA ablation and 1-year recurrence rates in the AF ablation cohort decreased, in part due to improved catheter technology.