Phased RF ablation in persistent atrial fibrillation

John Hummel, Gregory Michaud, Robert Hoyt, David Delurgio, Abdi Rasekh, Fred Kusumoto, Michael Giudici, Dan Dan, David Tschopp, Hugh Calkins, Lucas Boersma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Persistent and long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) often requires extensive and/or repeat radiofrequency (RF) ablation procedures. Objective The Tailored Treatment of Persistent Atrial Fibrillation (TTOP-AF) study assessed the effectiveness and safety of the phased RF system in a randomized controlled comparison of medical therapy against phased RF ablation for the management of persistent and long-standing persistent AF. Methods Patients who had failed at least 1 antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) were randomized (2:1) to ablation management (AM) or medical management (MM). AM patients were allowed up to 2 ablations. Index and retreatment procedures consisted of pulmonary vein isolation and ablation of complex fractionated atrial electrograms. MM patients received AAD changes and/or cardioversion. The primary end points of the TTOP-AF study included chronic effectiveness and safety at 6 months and acute safety within 7 days of ablation. Results At 6 months, a greater proportion of AM patients achieved effectiveness off AAD (77 of 138 [55.8%]) compared to MM patients (19 of 72 [26.4%]) (P <.0001). Acutely, 92.8% (128/138) of the procedures were successful while 12.3% (17/138) experienced a serious procedure and/or device-related adverse event. The predefined acute safety end point was not met. The proportion of patients with chronic safety events did not differ significantly between groups. Conclusions Catheter ablation of persistent/long-standing persistent AF with the phased RF ablation system is effective with greater reduction of AF compared with MM. More intense anticoagulation strategies, careful attention to catheter placement relative to the pulmonary vein ostia, and elimination of electrode interaction are expected to reduce the risk of stroke, pulmonary vein stenosis, and asymptomatic cerebral emboli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Persistent
  • Phased RF
  • TTOP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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