Technique and results of linear ablation at the mitral isthmus

Pierre Jaïs, Mélèze Hocini, Li Fern Hsu, Prashanthan Sanders, Christophe Scavee, Rukshen Weerasooriya, Laurent Macle, Florence Raybaud, Stéphane Garrigue, Dipen C. Shah, Philippe Le Metayer, Jacques Clémenty, Michel Haïssaguerre

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Background - This prospective clinical study evaluates the feasibility and efficacy of combined linear mitral isthmus ablation and pulmonary vein (PV) isolation in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods and Results - One hundred consecutive patients (13 women; age 55±10 years) with drug-refractory, symptomatic paroxysmal AF underwent PV isolation and linear ablation of the cavotricuspid isthmus and the mitral isthmus (lateral mitral annulus to the left inferior PV). They were compared with 100 consecutive patients (14 women; age, 52±10 years) undergoing PV isolation and cavotricuspid ablation without mitral isthmus ablation. Bidirectional mitral isthmus block was confirmed by demonstrating (1) a parallel corridor of double potentials during coronary sinus (CS) pacing, (2) an activation detour by pacing either side of the line, and (3) differential pacing techniques. Isolation of all PVs and cavotricuspid isthmus ablation were performed successfully in all. Mitral isthmus block was achieved in 92 patients after 20±10 minutes of endocardial radiofrequency application and an additional 5±4 minutes of epicardial radiofrequency application from within the CS in 68, resulting in a conduction delay of 151±26 ms during CS pacing. Thirty-two patients with mitral isthmus ablation compared with 49 without had recurrent atrial arrhythmia (P=0.02) requiring further ablation. At 1 year after the last procedure, 87 patients with mitral isthmus ablation and 69 without (P=0.002) were arrhythmia free without antiarrhythmic drugs, mitral isthmus ablation being the only factor associated with long-term success (RR for AF recurrence, 0.2; CI, 0.1 to 0.4; P<0.001). Conclusions - Catheter ablation of the mitral isthmus results consistently in demonstrable conduction block and is associated with a high cure rate for paroxysmal AF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2996-3002
Number of pages7
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2004


  • Atrium
  • Catheter ablation
  • Fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Jaïs, P., Hocini, M., Hsu, L. F., Sanders, P., Scavee, C., Weerasooriya, R., ... Haïssaguerre, M. (2004). Technique and results of linear ablation at the mitral isthmus. Circulation, 110(19), 2996-3002.