Pulsed Field Ablation for Pulmonary Vein Isolation in Atrial Fibrillation

Vivek Y. Reddy, Petr Neuzil, Jacob S. Koruth, Jan Petru, Moritoshi Funosako, Hubert Cochet, L. Sediva, M. Chovanec, Srinivas R. Dukkipati, Pierre Jais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Background: Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation using thermal energies such as radiofrequency or cryothermy is associated with indiscriminate tissue destruction. During pulsed field ablation (PFA), subsecond electric fields create microscopic pores in cell membranes—a process called electroporation. Among cell types, cardiomyocytes have among the lowest thresholds to these fields, potentially permitting preferential myocardial ablation. Objectives: The purpose of these 2 trials was to determine whether PFA allows durable pulmonary vein (PV) isolation without damage to collateral structures. Methods: Two trials were conducted to assess the safety and effectiveness of catheter-based PFA in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Ablation was performed using proprietary bipolar PFA waveforms: either monophasic with general anesthesia and paralytics to minimize muscle contraction, or biphasic with sedation because there was minimal muscular stimulation. No esophageal protection strategy was used. Invasive electrophysiological mapping was repeated after 3 months to assess the durability of PV isolation. Results: In 81 patients, all PVs were acutely isolated by monophasic (n = 15) or biphasic (n = 66) PFA with ≤3 min elapsed delivery/patient, skin-to-skin procedure time of 92.2 ± 27.4 min, and fluoroscopy time of 13.1 ± 7.6 min. With successive waveform refinement, durability at 3 months improved from 18% to 100% of patients with all PVs isolated. Beyond 1 procedure-related pericardial tamponade, there were no additional primary adverse events over the 120-day median follow-up, including: stroke, phrenic nerve injury, PV stenosis, and esophageal injury. The 12-month Kaplan-Meier estimate of freedom from arrhythmia was 87.4 ± 5.6%. Conclusions: In first-in-human trials, PFA preferentially affected myocardial tissue, allowing facile ultra-rapid PV isolation with excellent durability and chronic safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-326
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 23 Jul 2019


  • atrial fibrillation
  • catheter ablation
  • electroporation
  • esophageal damage
  • pulmonary vein isolation
  • pulsed field ablation


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