Radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) involves complex catheter manipulation resulting in prolonged procedure time and fluoroscopy exposure. Remote magnetic navigation (RMN) represents a novel approach toward improving the ability to perform complex ablation. Forty patients underwent ablation for AF, 20 using RMN (NIOBE II, Stereotaxis, Inc) with a 4-mm-tip magnetic catheter (Celsius, Biosense Webster) and 20 using a conventional 8-mm-tip bidirectional ablation catheter (Blazer, Boston Scientific). All patients underwent a combined wide area circumferential ablation and segmental pulmonary vein (PV) isolation using a circular mapping catheter and cavotricuspid isthmus ablation for right atrial flutter. The procedural end point was PV entrance block. There was no difference in atrial size, left ventricular systolic function, or type of AF between groups. PV entrance block was achieved in all patients. Mean procedure time was 279 ± 60 minutes in the conventional group versus 209 ± 56 minutes in the RMN group (p <0.001). Mean fluoroscopy time in the conventional group was 58.6 ± 21 minutes versus 19.5 ± 9.8 in the RMN group (p <0.001). At 1 year there were 15 patients in the conventional group and 16 in the RMN group free from clinical AF and off antiarrhythmic drugs (p = NS). There were 2 additional ablations performed for atypical atrial flutter in the conventional group and 3 in the RMN group (p = ns). Ablation catheter char formation was not observed. There were no procedural complications. In conclusion, radiofrequency ablation of AF performed with RMN is safe and feasible. Compared with conventional hand-navigated ablation, RMN ablation results in similar clinical outcomes with decreased fluoroscopy and procedure times.
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Published online: November 03, 2008
Accepted: August 5, 2008
Received in revised form: August 5, 2008
Received: January 7, 2008
© 2008 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.