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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2004 April;52(2):81-94

language: English

Contemporary approach to ablation of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

Chugh A., Morady F.


Pulmonary veins have been shown to play an important role in the initiation and maintenance of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Seg-mental ostial isolation of the pulmonary veins results in cure in about 2/3 of the patients. This approach does not address non-pulmonary venous triggers of atrial fibrillation or the importance of the left atrium itself. Left atrial circumferential ablation has also been shown to be efficacious in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. This approach seems to address not only the various triggers of atrial fibrillation but also the left atrial substrate. Recently, a randomized study compared the 2 strategies and showed that left atrial ablation is superior to segmental ostial isolation. This review will highlight the anatomy and electrophysiology of the pulmonary veins, and the possible mechanisms by which they initiate and maintain paroxysms of atrial fibrillation. Segmental ostial isolation of the pulmonary veins and left atrial ablation will be compared as well.

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