Efficacy of Isoproterenol in the Evaluation of Dormant Conduction and Arrhythmogenic Foci Identification in Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Background

Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) is an established therapy. However, postoperative recurrence is a serious issue caused by the reconduction of the isolated pulmonary veins (PV) and the onset of non-PV foci. The objectives of this study were to elucidate dormant conduction, confirm PV arrhythmia substrate, induce non-PV foci after PV isolation, and assess the acute efficacy of high dose isoproterenol (ISP) when administered in addition to adenosine.

Methods

The study consisted of 100 patients with drug-refractory AF (paroxysmal and persistent) who underwent ablation therapy (either radio-frequency or cryoballoon ablation) as the first-line of therapy at our hospital. All patients first underwent PV isolation (PVI) and were administered adenosine followed by ISP (6 μg × 5 min). The effects were observed, and the therapeutic strategy was evaluated.

Results

Persistent dormant conduction due to ISP administration was observed in 13 patients. In over half of the patients, arrhythmia substrates were identified in the PV. Ten patients presented with persistent PV firing. The ablation of non-PV foci was additionally performed in 23 patients.

Conclusions

We found that dormant conduction, as a result of ISP administration, is persistent and ISP is useful when performing an ablation. In addition, ISP administration is useful for the identification of PV arrhythmia substrates and induction of non-PV foci. However, the effectiveness of ISP may be partially due to the complementary effect of adenosine, and, therefore, a combination of the two drugs seems preferable.