Atrial fibrillation ablation strategies and technologies: past, present, and future

Abstract

Catheter ablation is an established treatment option for atrial fibrillation (AF), and pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) has become the gold standard in AF ablation. AF recurrence after PVI remains an important clinical problem. Recovery of conduction from the pulmonary veins (PVs) is considered the dominant mechanism for AF recurrence in paroxysmal AF. However, the underlying mechanism of AF recurrence after PVI is more complex in patients with persistent and longstanding persistent AF. Different ablation technologies and energy sources have been developed aimed at improving lesion quality and durability with an acceptable safety profile. Novel technologies are under evaluation which have a great potential to produce permanent PVI after a single ablation procedure. However, clinical value of these novel devices needs to be tested in adequately powered randomized controlled trials. In this article, we review the history of catheter ablation for AF and discuss the present and future ablation technologies.

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Buist, T.J., Zipes, D.P. & Elvan, A. Atrial fibrillation ablation strategies and technologies: past, present, and future. Clin Res Cardiol 110, 775–788 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00392-020-01751-5

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Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Ablation
  • Ablation technologies
  • Electrophysiology
  • Catheter ablation
  • Ablation techniques