Strategies for repeat ablation for atrial fibrillation: A multicentre comparison of nonpulmonary vein versus pulmonary vein target ablation

Daniel Mol, Mark J. Mulder, Rob Veenstra, Cornelis P. Allaart, Irene E. Hof, Michiel J. B. Kemme, Muchtiar Khan, Geert-Jan P. Kimman, Gideon Mairuhu, Gijsbert S. de Ruiter, Giovanni J. M. Tahapary, Joris R. de Groot, Jonas S. S. G. de Jong

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Introduction: Approximately 18% of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergo a repeat ablation within 12 months after their index ablation. Despite the high prevalence, comparative studies on nonpulmonary vein (PV) target strategies in repeat AF ablation are scarce. Here, we describe 12 months efficacy of non-PV and PV target ablations as a repeat ablation strategy. Methods: A multicentre retrospective, descriptive study was conducted with data of 280 patients who underwent repeat AF ablation. The ablation strategy for repeat ablation was at the operators' discretion. Non-PV target ablation (n = 140) included PV reisolation, posterior wall isolation, mitral line, roofline, and/or complex fractionated atrial electrogram ablation. PV target ablation (n = 140), included reisolation and/or wide atrium circumferential ablation. Patients' demographics and rhythm outcomes during 12 months follow-up were analyzed. Results: At 12 months, more atrial tachyarrhythmias were observed in the non-PV target group (48.6%) compared to the PV target group (29.3%, p =.001). Similarly, a significantly higher AF and atrial tachycardia (AT) recurrence rate was observed after non-PV target ablation compared to PV target ablation (36.4% vs. 22.1% and 22.9% vs. 10.7%). After adjustment, a significantly higher risk of AT recurrence remained in the non-PV target group. Both groups significantly de-escalated antiarrhythmic drug use; de-escalation was more profound after PV target ablation. Patients with isolated PVs during non-PV target ablation had a significantly higher risk for AF recurrence than those with reconnected PVs. Conclusion: Compared to PV target ablation, non-PV target repeat ablation did not improve outcomes after 12 months and was independently associated with an increased risk for AT recurrences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-896
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number5
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • atrial fibrillation
  • nonpulmonary vein target ablation
  • repeat ablation

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