Endothelial damage and thromboembolic risk after pulmonary vein isolation using the latest ablation technologies: a comparison of the second-generation cryoballoon vs. contact force-sensing radiofrequency ablation
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Experimental data suggest that cryoenergy is associated with less endothelial damage and thrombus formation than radiofrequency energy. This study aimed to compare the impact of pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) on the endothelial damage, myocardial damage, inflammatory response, and prothrombotic state between the two latest technologies, second-generation cryoballoon (CB2) and contact force-sensing radiofrequency catheter (CFRF) ablation. Eighty-six paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) patients (55 men; 65 ± 12 years) underwent PVI with either the CB2 (n = 64) or CFRF (n = 22). Markers of the endothelial damage (l-arginine/asymmetric dimethylarginine [ADMA]), myocardial injury (creatine kinase-MB [CK-MB], troponin-T, and troponin-I), inflammatory response (high-sensitive C-reactive protein), and prothrombotic state (D-dimer, soluble fibrin monomer complex, and thrombin–antithrombin complex) were determined before and up to 24-h post-procedure. The total application time was shorter (1,460 ± 287 vs. 2,395 ± 571 [sec], p < 0.01) and total procedure time tended to be shorter (199 ± 37 vs. 218 ± 38 [min], p = 0.06) with CB2 than CFRF ablation. The amount of myocardial injury was greater (CK-MB: 45 ± 17 vs. 11 ± 3 [IU/l], p < 0.01) with CB2 than CFRF ablation. The l-arginine/ADMA ratio was lower (160 ± 51 vs. 194 ± 38, p = 0.028) after CB2 than CFRF ablation. Inflammatory and all prothrombotic markers were significantly elevated post-ablation; however, the magnitude was similar between the two groups. During a mean follow-up of 20 ± 6 months, the single-procedure AF freedom was similar between the CB2 and CFRF groups (60/64 vs. 20/22, p = 0.82). CB2-PVI produces significantly lesser endothelial damage with greater myocardial injury than CFRF-PVI; however, similar anticoagulant regimens are required during the peri-procedural periods in both technologies.
KeywordsPulmonary vein isolation Endothelial damage Atrial fibrillation Cryoballoon
We thank Mr. John Martin for his help in the preparation of the manuscript. This work was supported by a grant from intramural research funds (25-4-7) for cardiovascular disease from the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan (to H. T.).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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