Transcranial Measurement of Cerebral Microembolic Signals During Endocardial Pulmonary Vein Isolation: Comparison of 3 Different Ablation Techniques

LD Sauren, Yves Belle, L De Roy, L Pison, M La Meir, FH van der Veen, HJ Crijns, Luc Jordaens, WH Mess, JG Maessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Cerebral MES During PVI. Introduction: Isolation of the pulmonary veins (PVI) using high ablation energy is an effective treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF) with a success rate of 50-95%; however, postoperative neurological complications still occur in 0.5-10%. In this study the incidence of cerebral microembolic signals (MES) as a risk factor for neurological complications is examined during 3 percutaneous endocardial ablation procedure strategies: segmental PVI using a conventional radiofrequency (RF) ablation catheter, segmental PVI using an irrigated RF tip catheter, and circumferential PVI with a cryoballoon catheter (CB). Methods and Results: Thirty patients underwent percutaneous endocardial PVI. Ostial isolation was performed in 10 patients with a conventional 4-mm RF catheter (CRF) and in 10 patients with a 4-mm irrigated RF catheter (IRF). A circumferential PVI was performed in 10 patients with a CB. Transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring was used to detect MES in the middle cerebral arteries. The total number of cerebral MES differs significantly among the 3 PVI groups; 3,908 cerebral MES were measured with use of the CRF catheter, 1,404 cerebral MES with use of the IRF catheter, and 935 cerebral MES with use of the CB catheter. Conclusion: This study demonstrates a significant difference in cerebral MES during PVI with 3 different ablation procedures. The use of an irrigated RF and a cryoballoon produces significantly fewer cerebral MES than the use of conventional RF for a PVI procedure, suggesting a higher risk for neurologic complications using conventional RF energy during a percutaneous PVI procedure. (J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, Vol. 20, pp. 1102-1107, October 2009)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1102-1107
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09

Cite this