Cryoablation for pulmonary veins isolation in obese patients with atrial fibrillation compared to nonobese patients

Daniele Malaspina, Francesco Brasca, Saverio Iacopino, Giuseppe Arena, Giulio Molon, Paolo Pieragnoli, Claudio Tondo, Massimiliano Manfrin, Giovanni Rovaris, Roberto Verlato, Antonio Dello Russo, Umberto Startari, Giuseppe Sgarito, Giovanni Battista Perego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pulmonary veins isolation (PVI) by cryoballoon (CB) ablation is marginally represented in clinical studies in obese patients. The aim of this analysis was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CB-PVI in a large cohort of overweight and obese patients from the 1STOP project. Methods: From 2012 to 2018, 2048 patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) (70% male, 59 ± 11 years; 75% paroxysmal AF) underwent index CB-PVI. The patient data were separated into three cohorts for statistical evaluation, including: normal weight (body mass index [BMI] < 25 kg/m2), overweight (BMI = 25-30 kg/m2), and obese patients (BMI > 30 kg/m2). Results: Out of 2048 patients, 693 (34%) patients had a BMI < 25 and were deemed as normal. There were 944 (46%) patients categorized as overweight (BMI = 25-30) and 411 (20%) as obese (BMI > 30). Overweight or obese patients were more often in persistent AF, had more frequently hypertension and diabetes, had higher CHA2DS2-VASc score, and had a number of failed antiarrhythmic drug (AAD). Periprocedural complication rates were similar among the three cohorts. The 12-month freedom from AF recurrence was 76.4% in the normal BMI group as compared to 79.2% in the overweight and 73.5% in the obese group (p =.35). However, 48% of overweight patients were on AAD treatment during the follow-up. By multivariate analysis, BMI was not a predictor for AF recurrence following the index CB-PVI. Conclusion: CB-PVI in obese patients is a safe procedure. Increased BMI (either moderate or severe) does not seem to be associated with a worse outcome or to a different rate of AAD discontinuation at 12 months.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • atrial fibrillation
  • cryoablation
  • obese patients
  • pulmonary vein isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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