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Revista Colombiana de Cardiología

Print version ISSN 0120-5633


URIBE, William et al. Atrial fibrillation ablation: first Colombian series of balloon cryoablation. Rev. Colomb. Cardiol. [online]. 2017, vol.24, n.2, pp.133-139.  Epub Dec 05, 2016. ISSN 0120-5633.


Pulmonary vein isolation using balloon cryoablation is a innovative technique for managing atrial fibrillation with a high efficacy rate. Its recent introduction and approval by the Colombian National Institute for Medicine and Food Surveillance in our field offers an alternative to the traditional point-by-point radiofrequency isolation.


Starting May 2014, all patients who underwent pulmonary vein isolation with cryoablation were registered prospectively in a form that had been previously designed specifically for this purpose.


Between May 2014 and August 2015, 31 balloon cryoablations were performed in 31 patients (23 men, 74%) with an average age of 59 ± 11.4 years (range from 34 to 72 years).

The most frequent indication was paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (23 patients, 74%), with 4 cases of persistent atrial fibrillation (13%) in the presence of a structurally normal heart. The procedure lasted a total of 152.6 ± 46.1 minutes with a fluoroscopy time of 51 ± 16 minutes, observing a decrease in the time as the learning curve progressed. Three of the 31 patients (9.7%) developed diaphragmatic paralysis, two of whom recovered motility during the procedure and the other patient recovered motility after one month.


Cryoablation is a fast and reproducible technique for pulmonary vein isolation in a high complexity electrophysiology service. With a short learning curve, it is a valuable alternative to point-by-point radiofrequency isolation, in a group with previous experience in pulmonary vein isolation by means of the traditional radiofrequency technique. Minor complications rate was similar to what was reported in literature and no major complications were developed in this initial group.

Keywords : ulmonary vein isolation; Cryoablation; Balloon catheter; Radiofrequency; Atrial fibrillation.

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