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Atrial fibrillation radiofrequency ablation: safety using contact force catheter in a low-volume centre

The tip-to-tissue contact force (CF) has been identified as a potential determinant of lesion quality during radiofrequency (RF) ablation. The aim of this paper is to report the experience of a single low-volume centre in the atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation procedure with an RF catheter capable of measuring this parameter. CF data and their possible implications on patient safety are presented.

Thirty-nine consecutive patients suffering of paroxysmal or permanent AF received percutaneous ablation with the novel catheter studied. Procedural characteristics, CF applied and safety events related to the procedure were reported.

During RF application the mean CF value was 17 ± 3 g, with a maximum mean value of 37 ± 8 g. CF value never exceeds 62 g and in the 74% of the RF applications ranged between 10 g and 30 g. No complication related to the catheter manipulation or to the energy delivered was observed.


This study of a single centre with a low level of experience in AF ablation suggests that the ability to measure CF may provide additional useful information to the operator. It ensures uniform ablations, with little variability in the catheter manipulations, and it avoids excessive contact forces increasing the patient safety. 

Credits: Diego Vaccari, MD; Daniele Giacopelli, MSc; Eros Rocchetto, MSc; Sabina Vittadello, MD; Roberto Mantovan, MD; Gianfilippo Neri, MD

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Introduction to AFib
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