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Aims: Oesophageal temperature monitoring is currently used during atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation to prevent atrio-oesophageal fistula. The aim of our study was to investigate if oesophageal temperature alerts, leading to early termination of radiofrequency (RF) energy and/or reduction in power during pulmonary vein isolation, can promote pulmonary vein reconnection (PVR). Methods and results: Patients undergone two consecutive AF ablation procedures with a three-dimensional electro-anatomical mapping system and oesophageal temperature monitoring were studied. Any lesions causing oesophageal temperature rises >39°C during the index procedure, leading to premature cessation of RF and/or reduction in power, were labelled on the left atrial geometry in a different colour from standard uninterrupted RF lesions. Acute (at the time of the index procedure) and chronic (at the time of there-do procedure) PVR and the site of subsequent re-isolation were compared with the lesion markers for temperature alerts from the index procedure. Fifty-four patients were included (36 male, mean age 68 ± 8, 59% persistent AF). Forty-six PVs (21% of the total) in 30 patients (56%) had been subject to at least one temperature alert during the index procedure. In 12 patients, 23 PVs had acute PVR requiring further ablation. At the re-do procedure, 103 PVs were found to be reconnected in 44 patients. No correlation was found between the occurrence of temperature alerts at the index procedure and acute or chronic PVR in the associated PV. Conclusion: Just over half of patients undergoing PV isolation will have an oesophageal temperature alert, however, precautionary oesophageal temperature monitoring does not compromise ablation efficacy.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





954 - 960


Acute pulmonary vein reconnection, Atrial fibrillation ablation, Chronic pulmonary vein reconnection, Luminal oesophageal temperature monitoring, Oesophageal temperature alerts, Radiofrequency lesion durability, Action Potentials, Aged, Atrial Fibrillation, Body Temperature Regulation, Catheter Ablation, Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac, Esophagus, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Monitoring, Intraoperative, Pulmonary Veins, Recurrence, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Thermometry, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome