Topographic variability of the esophageal left atrial relation influencing ablation lines in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Kottkamp, Hans; Piorkowski, Christopher; Tanner, Hildegard; Kobza, Richard; Dorszewski, Anja; Schirdewahn, Petra; Gerds-Li, Jin-Hong; Hindricks, Gerhard (2005). Topographic variability of the esophageal left atrial relation influencing ablation lines in patients with atrial fibrillation. Journal of cardiovascular electrophysiology, 16(2), pp. 146-150. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1046/j.1540-8167.2005.40604.x

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UNLABELLED Topography of the esophagus in atrial fibrillation ablation. INTRODUCTION The close anatomic relationship of the posterior wall of the left atrium (LA) and the thermosensitive esophagus creates a potential hazard in catheter ablation procedures. METHODS AND RESULTS In 30 patients (pts) with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing catheter ablation, we prospectively studied the course and contact of the esophagus in relation to LA and the topographic proximity to ablation lines encircling the right-sided and left-sided pulmonary veins (PV) as well as to the posterior line connecting the encircling lines using the electromagnetic mapping system for reconstruction of LA and for tagging of the esophagus. This new technique of anatomic tagging of the esophagus was validated against the CT scan as a standard imaging procedure. The esophageal course was highly variable, extending from courses in direct vicinity to the left- or right-sided PV as well as in the midportion of the posterior LA. In order to avoid energy application in direct proximity to the esophagus, adjustments of the left and right PV encircling lines were necessary in 14/30 pts (47%) and 3/30 (10%). In 30 pts (100%), the mid- to inferior areas of the posterior LA revealed contact with the esophagus. Therefore, posterior and inferior linear ablation lines were abandoned and shifted to superior in 29 pts (97%). CONCLUSIONS Anatomic tagging of esophagus revealed a highly variable proximity to different areas of the posterior LA suggesting individual adjustment of encircling and linear ablation lines in AF ablation procedures to avoid the life threatening complication of esophagus perforation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology

UniBE Contributor:

Tanner, Hildegard


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Hildegard Tanner

Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2014 17:04

Last Modified:

16 Jul 2014 17:04

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