Image integration-guided catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation: A prospective randomized study

Paolo Della Bella, Gaetano Fassini, Manuela Cireddu, Stefania Riva, Corrado Carbucicchio, Francesco Giraldi, Giuseppe MacCabelli, Nicola Trevisi, Massimo Moltrasio, Mauro Pepi, Claudia A. Galli, Daniele Andreini, Giovanni Ballerini, Gianluca Pontone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Image Integration for Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation. Background: Several studies have provided details of left atrial anatomy by means of the image integration techniques, particularly focusing on the atypical patterns of the pulmonary veins. Objective: To compare, in a prospective, randomized fashion, the conventional method of pulmonary vein disconnection and the image integration-guided approach. Methods: Two hundred and ninety consecutive patients (290 patients, mean age 55 ± 11 years) with drug-refractory paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation were enrolled in the study and were divided into two treatment groups: group 1 (145 patients) undergoing an imaging integration-guided (CartoMerge TM) ablation; group 2 (145 patients) treated by a conventional radiofrequency catheter ablation procedure. The arrhythmia was refractory to at least two antiarrhythmic drugs (IC, amiodarone). Results: Electrical disconnection of all identified pulmonary veins was obtained in all patients of both groups. Bidirectional block of the cavotricuspid isthmus was achieved in 34 group 1 patients and in 40 group 2 patients. Left mitral isthmus ablation was attempted in 52 group 1 patients and in 56 group 2 patients. At a mean follow-up of 14 ± 12 months, the atrial fibrillation-free survival rate was significantly higher in group 1 patients compared with group 2 patients (88% vs 69%, P = 0.017). The analysis for the subset of patients with previously ineffective ablation (98 patients: 52 group 1 patients and 46 group 2 patients) showed a significantly lower recurrence rate in group 1 versus group 2 (19% vs 48%, P <0.01). Conclusions: Our data indicate a superior efficacy of the image-integration guided catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation over the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Electroanatomical mapping
  • Image integration
  • Pulmonary vein isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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