Single 3-minute versus Double 4-minute Freeze Strategy for Second-Generation Cryoballoon Ablation: A Single-Center Experience

Giuseppe Ciconte, Juan Sieira-Moret, Ebru Hacioglu, Giacomo Mugnai, Giacomo Di Giovanni, Vedran Velagic, Yukio Saitoh, Giulio Conte, Ghazala Irfan, Giannis Baltogiannis, Burak Hunuk, Erwin Stroker, Pedro Brugada, Carlo de Asmundis, Jean-Baptiste Chierchia

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61 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: . Second-generation cryoballoon (CB-Adv) ablation is highly effective in achieving pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) with promising mid-term clinical outcome. However, the ideal freezing strategy is still under debate. To assess the efficacy of a single 3-minutes approach compared to the conventional 4-minutes plus bonus application using CB-Adv.

METHODS AND RESULTS: . One-hundred and sixty patients (67% male; mean age 58.0 ± 13.3 years) underwent PVI using CB-Adv for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). Among 160 patients, 80 received a single 3-minutes approach (3-mns group), while the remaining 80 conventional 4-minutes plus bonus-freeze (4-mns group). Mean procedure and fluoroscopy times were 90.6 ± 15.8 and 18.3 ± 6.9 in the 4-mns Group, 75.2 ± 17.1 and 13.5 ± 8.7 in the 3-mns Group (p< 0.001, respectively). First-freeze isolation rate was 91.6% in the 4- vs 90.6% in the 3-mns group (p = 0.78). Persistent phrenic nerve palsy (PNP) occurred in 6/80 (3.5%) in the 4-mns group and 4/80 in the 3-mns group (p = 0.75). The overall freedom from ATas 2-years after the procedure was 78.1% (125/160): 77.5% (62/80 patients) in the 3-mns and 78.8% (63/80 patients) in the 4-mns Group (p = 0.82). In multivariate analysis, time to PVI and nadir temperature independently predicted ATa recurrences (p< 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: . CB-Adv ablation for PAF is highly effective resulting in 78% 2-year freedom from arrhythmic recurrences. A "single 3-minutes strategy" showed equal efficacy as compared to the conventional 4-minutes plus bonus freeze approach at 2-year follow-up, providing shorter procedure and fluoroscopy time. Nadir temperature and time to PVI were predictors of arrhythmic recurrences. "Bonus-freeze" strategy might be unnecessary. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-803
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number7
Early online date11 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • cryoballoon ablation
  • paroxysmal atrial fibrillation
  • phrenic nerve injury
  • pulmonary vein isolation
  • second-generation cryoballoon
  • single freeze


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