Scientific publications

Local catheter impedance drop during pulmonary vein isolation predicts acute conduction block in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: initial results of the LOCALIZE clinical trial

Jul 18, 2021 | Magazine: Europace

Moloy Das  1 , Armin Luik  2 , Ewen Shepherd  1 , Matthew Sulkin  3 , Jacob Laughner  3 , Tobias Oesterlein  3 , Elizabeth Duffy  3 , Christian Meyer  4 , Pierre Jais  5 , Josselin Duchateau  5 , Arthur Yue  6 , Waqas Ullah  6 , Pablo Ramos  7   8 , Ignacio García-Bolao  7   8

Radiofrequency ablation creates irreversible cardiac damage through resistive heating and this temperature change results in a generator impedance drop. Evaluation of a novel local impedance (LI) technology measured exclusively at the tip of the ablation catheter found that larger LI drops were indicative of more effective lesion formation. We aimed to evaluate whether LI drop is associated with conduction block in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing pulmonary vein isolation (PVI).

Methods and results
Sixty patients underwent LI-blinded de novo PVI using a point-by-point ablation workflow. Pulmonary vein rings were divided into 16 anatomical segments. After a 20-min waiting period, gaps were identified on electroanatomic maps. Median LI drop within segments with inter-lesion distance ≤6 mm was calculated offline. The diagnostic accuracy of LI drop for predicting segment block was assessed using receiver operating characteristic analysis.

For segments with inter-lesion distance ≤6 mm, acutely blocked segments had a significantly larger LI drop [19.8 (14.1–27.1) Ω] compared with segments with gaps [10.6 (7.8–14.7) Ω, P < 0.001). In view of left atrial wall thickness differences, the association between LI drop and block was further evaluated for anterior/roof and posterior/inferior segments. The optimal LI cut-off value for anterior/roof segments was 16.1 Ω (positive predictive value for block: 96.3%) and for posterior/inferior segments was 12.3 Ω (positive predictive value for block: 98.1%) where inter-lesion distances were ≤6 mm.

The magnitude of LI drop was predictive of acute PVI segment conduction block in patients with paroxysmal AF. The thinner posterior wall required smaller LI drops for block compared with the thicker anterior wall.

CITATION  Europace. 2021 Jul 18;23(7):1042-1051.  doi: 10.1093/europace/euab004