Impact of rotor temperospatial stability on acute and one-year atrial fibrillation ablation outcomes

Muhammad Balouch, Esra Gucuk Ipek, Jonathan Chrispin, Rizma J. Bajwa, Tarek Zghaib, Ronald D. Berger, Hiroshi Ashikaga, Saman Nazarian, Joseph E. Marine, Hugh Calkins, David D. Spragg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The utility of rotor ablation using commercially available systems as an adjunct to pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is controversial. Variable results may stem from heterogeneous practice patterns. We investigated whether a prespecified protocol to determine temperospatial rotor stability improved acute and intermediate outcomes following rotor ablation. Hypothesis: Protocolized rotor mapping and ablation, with prespecified metrics to determine temporal rotor stability prior to ablation, will improve short- and long-term PVI/rotor ablation outcomes. Methods: Patients undergoing PVI plus rotor ablation at Johns Hopkins during 2015 were included. The first cohort underwent rotor mapping and ablation at the operator's discretion, whereas the second cohort underwent protocolized rotor mapping, with ablation limited to temperospatially stable rotors. Both cohorts underwent PVI. Acute results (rotor elimination, atrial fibrillation [AF] termination), procedural data, and 1-year outcomes were assessed. Results: Twenty-seven patients underwent ablation (mean age, 64.4 ± 9 years, male 81.5%, persistent AF 85.2%, long-standing persistent AF 14.8%, mean AF duration 4.4 ± 4 years, repeat cases 51.8%, and mean LA size 4.6 ± 0.8 cm). In the protocolized cohort, rotors were reproducible in 83% (10/12) of cases in at least 1 chamber. Acute rhythm change was achieved in 8/27 (29.6%) patients. Sinus rhythm on presentation (62.5% vs 15.8%, P = 0.03) and higher total targeted rotors (3.8 ± 1.7 vs 2.5 ± 1.0, P = 0.02) predicted acute change. At 12 months, freedom from AF/atrial tachycardia was achieved in 5/15 (33.3%) patients in the first cohort and 5/11 patients in the protocolized cohort (45.5%; P = 0.53 for comparison). Conclusions: Acute and intermediate results did not change with protocolized mapping designed to identify temperospatially stable rotors. Outcomes at 12 months were similar in both groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Focal impulse and rotor modulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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