Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background Adenosine shortens action potential duration and refractoriness and provokes atrial fibrillation. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of adenosine on mechanisms of wavefront propagation during atrial fibrillation. Methods and Results The study included 22 patients undergoing catheter ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation. Left atrial mapping was performed using the AcQMap charge density system before and after administration of intravenous adenosine at 1 or more of 3 time points during the procedure (before pulmonary vein isolation, after pulmonary vein isolation, and after nonpulmonary vein isolation ablation). Wave-front propagation patterns were evaluated allowing identification and quantification of localized rotational activation (LRA), localized irregular activation, and focal firing. Additional signal processing was performed to identify phase singularities and calculate global atrial fibrillation cycle length and dominant frequency. A total of 35 paired maps were analyzed. Adenosine shortened mean atrial fibrillation cycle length from 181.7±14.3 to 165.1±16.3, (mean difference 16.6 ms; 95% CI, 11.3-21.9, P<0.0005) and increased dominant frequency from 6.0±0.7 Hz to 6.6±0.8 Hz (95% CI, 0.4-0.9, P<0.0005). This was associated with a 50% increase in the number of LRA occurrences (16.1±7.6-24.2±8.1; mean difference 8.1, 95% CI, 4.1-12, P<0.0005) as well as a 20% increase in the number of phase singularities detected (30.1±7.8-36.6±9.3; mean difference 6.5; 95% CI, 2.6-10.0, P=0.002). The percentage of left atrial surface area with LRA increased with adenosine and 42 of 70 zones (60%) with highest density of LRA coincided with high density LRA zones at baseline with only 28% stable across multiple maps. Conclusions Adenosine accelerates atrial fibrillation and promotes rotational activation patterns with no impact on focal activation. There is little evidence that rotational activation seen with adenosine represents promising targets for ablation aimed at sites of stable arrhythmogenic sources in the left atrium.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Heart Assoc

Publication Date





AcQMap, adenosine, atrial fibrillation, localized rotational activation, Adenosine, Atrial Fibrillation, Catheter Ablation, Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac, Heart Atria, Heart Rate, Humans, Pulmonary Veins, Treatment Outcome