Safety of continuous left atrial phased-array intracardiac echocardiography during left atrial ablation for atrial fibrillation.
BACKGROUND: Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation using radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) requires delivery of contiguous transmural lesions at the PV antra while avoiding injury to the esophagus. Continuous 2-dimensional phased-array intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) from within the left atrium (LA) can provide consistent high-resolution images of catheter tip contact and location during ablation. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare near-term safety outcomes of therapeutic AF ablation with and without ICE imaging from within the LA. METHODS: The study cohort included 590 consecutive patients undergoing RFA for AF including continuous ICE imaging during ablation from within either the right atrium (RA) or the LA. Subjects were followed prospectively, and periprocedural complications within 30 days were identified and recorded. RESULTS: All subjects had RA ICE imaging to guide transseptal catheterization. Ultrasound imaging from both RA and LA was used in 243 (41.2%). Respectively, the LA vs RA only imaging cohorts were comparable with respect to age (median 64 [interquartile range 57.4-71.2] years vs 64 [56.2-70.6] years; P = .425); history of hypertension (64.0% vs 67.2%; P = .421); diabetes mellitus (23.1% vs 19.4%; P = .268); previous cerebrovascular accident/transient ischemic attack (10.8% vs 8.4%; P = .331); and AF type (P = .241). There were no significant differences in major complications within 30 days between the 2 cohorts (P = .649) and no identified cases of esophageal or phrenic nerve injury or PV stenosis. CONCLUSIONS: Routine continuous LA ICE imaging seems to be safe and holds potential to facilitate lesion delivery during RFA for AF.