Atrial Tachycardias After “Multiple” Previous Ablations for Tachyarrhythmias: Treatment by Anti-arrhythmic Drugs or Additional Ablation?

Bharat K. Kantharia, Zaw Win Tun, Arti N. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation (PVI) ablation as the first-line therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF) and repeat PVIs for patients who had symptomatic improvement with the index PVI but who develop AF recurrence are directed by practice guidelines. How many catheter ablation (CA) procedures constitute the definition of “multiple” ablations is not known. Whether atrial tachyarrhythmias (AF, atrial tachycardia [AT], atrial flutter [AFL]) that occur post-ablation are due entirely to the proarrhythmic effects of CA or a continuum of the arrhythmia spectrum from the underlying atriopathy is debatable. Herein, we describe a case of a 65-year-old man with a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 5 points who suffered from atrial tachyarrhythmias for which seven CA procedures were performed. Because of symptomatic and drug-refractory AT/AFL that failed cardioversions, he requested another ablation procedure. During the eighth procedure, high-density three-dimensional electroanatomic mapping, including Coherent and Ripple mapping (CARTO® 3; Biosense Webster, Diamond Bar, CA, USA), of AT/AFL was performed. Small discrete areas of relatively viable tissue within an extensively scarred left atrium and a macro–re-entrant circuit with early-meets-late activation between the left atrial anterior wall and the right superior PV were found. Radiofrequency ablation performed at this site resulted in the termination of the tachycardia, and bidirectional conduction block across the line was achieved. On clinical follow-ups and rhythm monitoring by an implantable loop recorder, the patient remained in sinus rhythm with significant clinical improvement. Our case suggests that, in patients with prior multiple CAs, additional clinically indicated ablation should be performed using high-density mapping to accurately identify arrhythmia mechanisms, elucidate the disease substrate, and restore the sinus rhythm successfully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5795-5802
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • atrial tachyarrhythmias
  • catheter ablation
  • electroanatomic CARTO® mapping
  • high-density mapping


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