BACKGROUND: The second-generation cryoballoon (CB) is effective in achieving pulmonary vein isolation. Continuous monitoring would eliminate any over- or underestimated freedom from atrial fibrillation (AF) postablation.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to differentiate between arrhythmias occurring after cryoballoon ablation (CBA), detecting true AF in symptomatic patients and detecting silent subclinical AF.
METHODS: Between June 2012 and January 2015, 54 patients with a preexisting cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) who had undergone CBA for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) were included in our retrospective study. Regular CIED controls, physical examination, and ECG recordings were performed by an experienced cardiologist blinded to the ablation procedure. Data on any hospitalization during follow-up were gathered. Patients were encouraged to note all clinical symptoms during follow-up.
RESULTS: Continuous monitoring showed a success rate of 83.3% after 1 year and 75.93% after 3 years of follow-up. During the first year, 68% of episodes of palpitations after ablation were due to sinus tachycardia, nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, or supraventricular tachycardia. AF recurrence was detected in 15.6% of asymptomatic patients during follow-up. Total AF burden post-CBA had decreased to 0.64% ± 4.34% (P <.001) during long-term follow-up of 3.3 years.
CONCLUSION: Although this is a selected group of patients with a preexisting CIED, continuous monitoring showed freedom from AF in 83.3% of patients post-CBA after 1 year and 75.93% after 3 years of follow-up.