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Safety of the Radiofrequency Balloon for Pulmonary Vein Isolation

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:A Focus on Lesion Metric Analysis of Posterior Electrodes

Previous clinical studies on pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) with radiofrequency balloons (RFB) reported safe and effective procedures for a 20 s RF delivery via posterior electrodes. Recent recommendations from the manufacturer suggest reducing the application time to 15 s on the posterior wall (PW) when facing the esophagus region. Here, we retrospectively assess whether 15 s of RF delivery time on posterior electrodes is safe while still ensuring lesion metrics of sufficient quality. This retrospective study included 133 patients with paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation who underwent PVI using an RFB (Heliostar, Biosense Webster, Inc., Irvine, CA, USA) at two European centers. The ablation protocol was set for an RF duration of 20 s/60 s for the posterior/anterior electrodes. A multielectrode temperature probe was systematically used. In the case of an esophageal temperature rise (ETR) above 42 °C (ETR+), an endoscopic evaluation was performed. All posterior electrode lesion metric dynamics (temperature (T) and impedance (Z)) were collected from the RFB generator and analyzed offline. In total, 2435 posterior electrode applications were analyzed. With an RF delivery of 19.8 (19.7-19.8) s, the median impedance drop was 18.4 (12.2-25.2) Ω, while the temperature rise was 11.1 (7.1-14.9) °C. Accordingly, impedance (84.6 (79.3-90.2) Ω) and temperature plateaus (38 (35.3-41.1) °C) were reached at 13.9 (10.6-16) s and 16.4 (12.6-18.5) s, respectively. Overall, 99.6% and 95.8% of electrodes reached 90% (16.6 Ω) and 95% (17.5 Ω) of their impedance drops within 15 s of RF delivery, while 97.2% and 92.8% achieved 90% (34.2 °C) and 95% (36.1 °C) of their temperature rise to reach the plateaus within 15 s of RF delivery. An ETR >42 °C occurred in 37 (30.1%) patients after 17.7 ± 2.3 s of RF delivery. In the ETR+ group, the impedance drop and temperature rise on the posterior electrodes were higher compared to patients where ETR was <42 °C. Two asymptomatic thermal esophageal injuries were observed. In conclusion, 15 s of RF delivery on the posterior electrodes provides a good balance between safety, with no esophageal temperature rise, and efficacy with high-profile lesion metrics.

Journal: Journal of Clinical Medicine
ISSN: 2077-0383
Issue: 19
Volume: 12
Publication year:2023