Aims Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) focuses on pulmonary vein (PV) ablation with or without additional atrial substrate modification. These procedures require significant fluoroscopy exposure. A new 3D non-fluoroscopic navigation system (CARTO(®) 3 System, Biosense Webster, CA, USA) that allows precise location visualization of diagnostic and ablation catheters was evaluated for its impact on fluoroscopic exposure during AF ablation procedures. Methods and results Two groups of patients were treated by our centres for drug refractory AF. One group was treated using the new CARTO(®) 3 system to guide catheter ablation (Group A, 117 patients). The other group was treated using the CARTO(®) XP system (Biosense Webster) 3 months previously (Group B, 123 patients). For both groups, circumferential PV ostia ablation was performed; PV isolation was validated using a circular catheter placed at each ostium. There was no difference in any clinical characteristics (age, sex, AF type, left atrium diameter and volume, and heart disease) among the two study groups. The mean number of PVs identified and isolated per patient was similar in both groups, as were the mean procedural duration and radiofrequency time. However, mean fluoroscopic time was significantly reduced in Group A (15.9±12.3 min) as compared with Group B (26±15.1 min) (P< 0.001). Conclusion This multicentre observational study demonstrates a significant reduction of fluoroscopy exposure using a new 3D non-fluoroscopic mapping system to guide AF catheter ablation.
Europace. 2012 Jan;14(1):60-5