Endocardial Pulsed Field Ablation and the Oesophagus: Are Atrio-oesophageal Fistulas Now History?

Moritz Nies, Keita Watanabe, Iwanari Kawamura, Jacob S. Koruth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pulsed field ablation (PFA) is a novel energy form for the catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias, which uses electrical fields to mediate myocardial death via irreversible electroporation and other modalities. It is believed to offer relative tissue specificity, lowering – or even eliminating – the risk of complications associated with thermal energy, such as atrio-oesophageal fistulas. The proposed superior safety profile compared to thermal ablation has contributed to the enthusiastic implementation of PFA into clinical practice and is supported by early preclinical and clinical data. However, data about the effects of PFA on the oesophagus remain limited. This organ’s susceptibility to PFA has important clinical ramifications and there are two highly relevant questions. First, is the oesophagus absolutely spared by PFA or is there susceptibility to injury at higher field strengths? Second, if oesophageal injury can occur, can atrio-oesophageal fistulas ensue? The aim of this article is to provide a literature review on the effects of PFA on the oesophagus and to address these questions based on the data described.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02
JournalArrhythmia and Electrophysiology Review
StatePublished - 2024


  • Pulsed field ablation
  • catheter ablation
  • complications
  • oesophagus
  • review


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