Site localization of painful lesions during radiofrequency ablation of pulmonary veins using circular multi-electrode catheters

Avishag Laish-Farkash, Amos Katz, Ornit Cohen, Azriel Osherov, Sharon Bruocha, Vladimir Khalameizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Previous data showed that pain sensation was common during pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) using an 8-mm radiofrequency (RF) ablation catheter. Pain was more common in the left pulmonary veins (PVs). We characterized the location of pain during PVI using circular multi-electrode ablation catheters. Methods: Included are all consecutive patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who underwent PVI using the phased RF PVAC® catheter (Medtronic) or the irrigated nMARQ™ catheter (Biosense Webster) under conscious sedation between July 2011 and March 2015. Site of pain reaction was marked for each patient. Results: A total of 251 patients (141 PVAC®, 110 nMARQ™) were studied; 214 (85 %) had at least one lesion associated with pain. Gender (r = 0.084, p = 0.186), type of AF (r = 0.048, p = 0.452), age (r = 0.078, p = 0.216), and repeat procedure (r = 0.018, p = 0.78) were not correlated with pain. There was no association between site of pain and catheter type; only 33 % of the painful PVs were also the largest ones (p = 0.5, kappa = 0.03, R = −0.083). One-year freedom from AF was similar for patients with and without painful PVs (p = 0.6). The distribution of pain was as follows: 126 (59 %) left superior PV (LSPV), 28 (13 %) left inferior, 28 (13 %) all PVs, 12 (5.6 %) right superior, 12 (5.6 %) right inferior, 18 (8.4 %) left common, and 2 (0.9 %) right common PV. Conclusions: PVI using multi-electrode catheters more commonly caused pain sensation in LSPV. There was no influence of catheter type or PV size on pain localization. Our findings, which are similar to those using an 8-mm ablation catheter, imply that location of pain is not catheter dependent but rather a reflection of autonomic physiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Circular multi-electrode catheter
  • Pain
  • Pulmonary veins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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