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Preliminary data in human suggest that both Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) and Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) can be used for real-time information on the left atrial (LA) wall thickness and on the acute tissue changes produced by energy delivery. This pilot study was conducted to compare ICE and IVUS for real-time LA wall imaging and assessment of acute tissue changes produced by radiofrequency (RF), cryo and laser catheter ablation. Patients scheduled for RF, cryoballoon or laser balloon Pulmonary Vein Isolation (PVI) catheter ablation were enrolled. Each pulmonary vein (PV) was imaged before and immediately after ablation with either ICE or IVUS. The performance of ICE and IVUS for imaging were compared. Pre- and post-ablation measurements (lumen and vessel diameters, areas and sphericity indexes, wall thickness and muscular sleeve thickness) were taken at the level of each PV ostium. A total of 48 PVs in 12 patients were imaged before and after ablation. Both ICE and IVUS showed acute tissue changes. Compared to IVUS, ICE showed higher imaging quality and inter-observer reproducibility of the PV measurements obtained. Acute wall thickening suggestive of oedema was observed after RF treatment (p = 0.003) and laser treatment (p = 0.003) but not after cryoablation (p = 0.69). Our pilot study suggests that ICE might be preferable to IVUS for LA wall thickness imaging at the LA-PV junctions during ablation. Ablation causes acute wall thickening when using RF or laser energy, but not cryoenergy delivery. Larger studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cardiovasc Imaging

Publication Date





3525 - 3535


Acute wall changes after ablation, Cryoenergy, Intracardiac echocardiography, Intravascular ultrasound, Laser energy, Left atrial wall thickness, Radiofrequency energy, Atrial Fibrillation, Catheter Ablation, Echocardiography, Humans, Lasers, Pilot Projects, Predictive Value of Tests, Pulmonary Veins, Reproducibility of Results, Treatment Outcome, Ultrasonography