Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution in the acute loss in vagal innervation after ablation with the second generation cryoballoon (CB-A) in each distinct pulmonary vein (PV) by means of external cardiac vagal stimulation (ECVS) by positioning a catheter in the internal jugular vein in a cohort of 60 patients.

Methods: Sixty patients, 50 starting from the left superior pulmonary vein (LSPV) and 10 from the right superior pulmonary vein with symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF), having undergone ECVS before the first and after each PV ablation by means of CB-A ablation, were included.

Results: The ECVS performed pre-ablation provoked cardioinhibitory responses in all cases with mean pause duration of 10251.83 ms ± 2826.23 ms. At the end of the procedure, the vagal reactions (VR) were significantly diminished. Specifically, compared against the initial pause, responses were 8957.06 ± 2711.66 ms (p < 0.01) after left superior PV, 10017.36 ± 9127.0 ms (p = 0.88) after left inferior PV, 6020.16 ± 3780.709 ms (p < 0.001) after right inferior PV and 1687.5 ± 2183.7 ms (p < 0.001) after right superior PV. Noteworthy, if starting with ablation in the RSPV, VR was immediately reduced by 90.34%, 990.7 ± 379.78 ms (p < 0.001) as compared to baseline response.

Conclusion: Although not directly targeting the ganglion plexuses, AF ablation with the CB-A causes a significant acute loss in parasympathetic innervation. The RSPV showed to be associated with the most significant reduction of acute loss in parasympathetic innervation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2223
JournalJournal of Atrial Fibrillation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2020

    Research areas

  • Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System, Ganglionated Plexi, Pulmonary Vein Isolation, Second-Generation Cryoballoon, Vagal Stimulation

ID: 51999045