Beyond Pulmonary Vein Isolation: the Role of Additional Sites in Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation

Li Wei Lo, Yenn Jiang Lin, Shih Lin Chang, Yu Feng Hu, Fa Po Chung, Shih Ann Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation is the cornerstone of atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. However, the long-term procedural outcome remains suboptimal and there is a frequent need for repeat ablation procedure, especially in patients with non-paroxysmal AF. The review article summarizes the rationales, recent evidences, and strategies of ablation of extra-PV sites and its clinical outcomes. Recent Findings: It is a consensus that durable PV isolations are a definite therapy in patients with paroxysmal AF. In non-paroxysmal AF, many laboratories still believe that adequate substrate ablation outside PVs is definitely required. Empirical linear ablation is not recommended because of difficulty in achieving complete linear block, unless macro-reentry atrial tachycardia developed during procedure. Most of laboratories applied complex fractionated atrial electrogram (CFAE) ablation after PV isolation in non-paroxysmal AF, but the efficacy is limited in the long-term follow-up studies. A combined approach using CFAE, non-linear similarity, and phase mapping strategy to identify rotors or focal sources for substrate modification increases the ablation outcome, when compared to CFAE ablation alone. Provocative test with mapping of non-PV triggers is also recommended in all patients to improve long-term ablation success. Summary: Ablation beyond PV isolation is important, especially in non-paroxysmal AF patients, to modify the diseased atrial substrate and eliminate the non-PV triggers, which in turn improve the ablation outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number86
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Non-paroxysmal
  • Pumlonary vein
  • Rotor
  • Substrate


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