Incidence and characteristics of complications in the setting of second-generation cryoballoon ablation: A large single-center study of 500 consecutive patients.


BACKGROUND The second-generation cryoballoon Advance (CB-A) recently launched on the market has technical modifications designed to significantly improve procedural outcome with respect to the first-generation device. OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to evaluate the overall incidence of complications in a large sample of patients having undergone pulmonary vein (PV) isolation with CB-A technology. METHODS All consecutive patients who underwent PV isolation procedures using CB-A technology between June 2012 and February 2015 were considered. Exclusion criteria were presence of an intracavitary thrombus, uncontrolled heart failure, moderate or severe valvular disease, left atrial diameter ≥55 mm, and contraindications to general anesthesia. RESULTS During the study period, 500 consecutive patients (67% male, age 57.6 ± 12.9 years) were enrolled. Major complications occurred in 10 patients (2.0%): vascular complications at the puncture site in 6 (1.2%), and thromboembolic events, cardiac tamponade, persisting phrenic nerve palsy, and retroperitoneal hematoma all occurred in a single patient respectively (0.2%). Phrenic nerve palsy occurred in 36 patients (7.2%) and did not revert in only 1 patient at final follow-up of 20 months. No deaths related to the procedure occurred. No predictors of major complication were found. CONCLUSION The present findings highlight that PV isolation using CB-A technology can be safely performed with a low incidence of adverse events. The incidence of major complications after atrial fibrillation ablation procedures using CB-A technology was 2% in our study. The most frequent complication consisted of vascular complications at the puncture site. No deaths related to the procedure occurred.


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