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Revista médica de Chile

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ASENJO G, René et al. Results of radiofrequency ablation in focal atrial fibrillation. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2002, vol.130, n.5, pp.482-494. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Atrial fibrillation can originate in arrhythmogenic foci coming from the pulmonary veins. Patients with atrial fibrillation, initiated from triggering foci, can be treated with radiofrequency ablation. Aim: To report the results of radiofrequency ablation in patients with focal atrial fibrillation. Patients and methods: Thirteen patients with focal atrial fibrillation (8 male, aged 19 to 60 years old) are reported. Twelve had frequent crises refractory to antiarrhythmic drugs. Two had also flutter and tachycardia. One had a permanent atrial fibrillation lasting five years. Two had ventricular dysfunction and left atrial dilatation. The triggering focus was identified during the electrophysiological study, by the precocity of the potential that initiated the atrial fibrillation. Results: All patients had early atrial extrasystolic beats, isolated or repetitives, that preceded atrial fibrillation. During the electrophysiological study, 18 foci (3 in the right and 15 in the left atrium all in pulmonary veins) were identified. Radiofrequency ablation had immediate success in 11 patients. In 5, a flutter was also ablated. One patient had a sinus dysfunction after the procedure and atrial fibrillation was not eliminated. In this and other patient in whom the procedure failed, a pacemaker was implanted and the atrioventricular node was blocked. In a follow up, ranging from 4 to 31 months, eight patients are asymptomatic and 3 recidivated. No complications have been detected. Conclusions: Patients with focal atrial fibrillation have common clinical and electrocardiographic features. Radiofrequency ablation of the triggering focus is possible and effective in most cases (Rev Méd Chile 2002; 130: 482-94)

Keywords : Arrhythmia; Atrial fibrillation; Electric counter shock.

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