Unipolar Characteristics of CFAEs. Background: The noncontact mapping (NCM) system possesses the merit of global endocardial recording for unipolar and activation mapping. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the unipolar electrogram characteristics and activation pattern over the bipolar complex fractionated atrial electrogram (CFAE) sites during atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods: Twenty patients (age 55 ± 11 years old, 15 males) who underwent NCM and ablation of AF (paroxysmal/persistent = 13/7) were included. Both contact bipolar (32-300 Hz) and NCM virtual unipolar electrograms (0.5-300 Hz) were simultaneously recorded along with the activation pattern (total 223 sites, 11 ± 4 sites/patient). A CFAE was defined as a mean bipolar cycle length of ≤ 120 ms with an intervening isoelectric interval of more than 50 ms (Group 1A, n = 63, rapid repetitive CFAEs) or continuous fractionated activity (Group 1B, n = 59, continuous fractionated CFAEs), measured over a 7.2-second duration. Group 2 consisted of those with a bipolar cycle length of more than 120 ms (n = 101). Results: The Group 1A CFAE sites exhibited a shorter unipolar electrogram cycle length (129 ± 11 vs 164 ± 20 ms, P < 0.001), and higher percentage of an S-wave predominant pattern (QS or rS wave, 63 ± 13% vs 35 ± 13%, P < 0.001) than the Group 2 non-CFAE sites. There was a linear correlation between the bipolar and unipolar cycle lengths (P < 0.001, R = 0.87). Most of the Group 1A CFAEs were located over arrhythmogenic pulmonary vein ostia or nonpulmonary vein ectopy with repetitive activations from those ectopies (62%) or the pivot points of the turning wavefronts (21%), whereas the Group 1B CFAEs exhibited a passive activation (44%) or slow conduction (31%). Conclusions: The bipolar repetitive and continuous fractionated CFAEs represented different activation patterns. The former was associated with an S wave predominant unipolar morphology which may represent an important focus for maintaining AF.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Catheter ablation
- Complex fractionated atrial electrograms