Monday, April 22, 2013

To Burn or Freeze During Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation, That Is the Question

With the deaths that have recently surfaced caused by esophageal perforation following cryoablation procedures for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, Dr. John Mandrola (a fellow colleague and EP-blogger) delves deeper into the incidence, issues, and current recommendations that might improve the safety of the procedure over at today.  It's an excellent review of the current state of the art as he's been able to review it.  Go now and read his piece.

Of course, as Dr. Mandrola points out, although the incidence of this deadly complication is rare, there is still much we don't know about this procedure's long-term safety, especially as newly-engineered cryoballoons  enter the EP community's ablation toolkits.  Careful long-term assessment of this technology's safety and efficacy, as well as its safety compared to more conventional radiofrequency ablation techniques for pulmonary vein isolation, remain unknown.



Richard Kato said...

I have been referred to a MD who is performing his first cryoablations for paroxysmal atrial fib. There is a sense that you are still weary about cryoablation for atrial fib. Is cryoablation done in the Chicagoland area?

Dan Walter said...

Catheter ablation for afib is a corporate-driven procedure that is riskier and less effective than advertised.

I recommend this post by Dr. David Mayer: