During ablation of the posterior wall (PW), luminal oesophageal temperature elevation (OTE) prompts attenuation of radiofrequency (RF) energy delivery to minimize oesophageal injury. This strategy on lesion efficacy is unknown. The goal of this study was to analyse the relationship between OTE and pulmonary vein reconnection (PVR).

Methods and results

During the index antral pulmonary vein (PV) isolation procedure with an irrigated RF ablation catheter, OTE was detected with a multisensor oesophageal temperature probe. Posterior wall ablation did not exceed 25 W and was terminated when the temperature was ≥38.5°C. Patients undergoing redo procedures (n = 142) were studied for PW sites of PVR along 4 segments: left and right superior, and left and right inferior. Pulmonary vein reconnections had occurred in 51 of the 142 patients (36%), in 58 of 284 PV pairs (20%). Among these 58 reconnected pairs, 83% (n = 48) were along the PW. Oesophageal temperature elevation had occurred in 30 patients (59%). No difference in characteristics was seen between the patients with OTE (n = 30) and those without (n = 21). For superior segments, there was no interaction between the presence or absence of OTE and PVR. For inferior segments, there were more PVRs in the group with OTE: for the right-inferior segment, the PVR rate was 72% for OTE cases vs. 42% without (P = 0.04), and for the left-inferior segment, the PVR rate was 44% for OTE cases vs. 22.9% without (P = 0.12).


Pulmonary vein reconnections are predominantly posteriorly located. Along the right- and left-inferior PW segments, there was an association with elevated oesophageal temperature during the index procedure.

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