Cryoballoon pulmonary vein ablation and left atrial appendage closure combined procedure: A long-term follow-up analysis

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Background: The combined left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) and cryoenergy pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) procedure has been proven safe and effective in managing stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF), although most data refer to procedures performed using radiofrequency as the main energy source. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate long-term follow-up of patients with AF undergoing concomitant LAAC and cryoenergy PVI. Methods: Patients undergoing LAAC and cryoballoon PVI at our institution were enrolled. At 3, 6, and 24 months from the index procedure, we determined the atrial arrhythmia recurrence rate, the extent of LAAC, and the rate of cerebrovascular/bleeding events. Results: Forty-nine patients (mean age 69 ± 8 years; 32/49 (67%) men; CHA2DS2-VASc score 2.8 ± 1.2; HAS-BLED score 3 ± 1) with a guideline-recommended LAAC indication were included. Acute PVI and complete LAAC were achieved in 100% of patients. All patients completed at least 24 months of follow-up. At 8 weeks and 6 months, complete or satisfactory (<5 mm leak) LAAC rates were achieved in 40 (82%) and 9 (18%) and in 42 (86%) and 7 (14%) of patients, respectively. The overall freedom from atrial arrhythmia rate at 24 months was 29 (60%), and 45 (92%) of patients were off antithrombotic drugs. The observed annualized stroke and bleeding rates were 1% and 2%, respectively, a 71% and 60% risk reduction in comparison to event rates predicted from CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED scores. Conclusion: Concomitant cryoballoon ablation and LAAC procedures appear safe and effective at long-term follow-up, with high antithrombotic drug withdrawal rates at 24 months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1320-1326
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Atrial fibrillation ablation
  • Combined procedure
  • Cryoballoon
  • Intracardiac echocardiography
  • Left atrial appendage closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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