Atrial tachycardias encountered in the context of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation part II: Mapping and ablation: Review
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Over the past decade, there has been an exponential increase in the number of catheter ablation procedures performed for atrial fibrillation (AF). While for paroxysmal AF, proximal pulmonary vein isolation is sufficient in the majority of cases, ablation of persistent and longstanding AF requires an extensive surgical-like procedure. This approach is correlated with a high rate of AF termination; however, this is achieved at the cost of at least one atrial tachycardia (AT) during the index procedure or during the patient's follow-up in the vast majority of cases. As these ATs are often multiple, complex, and frequently more symptomatic than AF, they constitute the last and frequently the most difficult step in ablation for patients with persistent AF. This review concentrates on the practical approaches to the treatment of AT in the context of AF ablation and provides an algorithm that aims at facilitating mapping and ablation strategies using conventional electrophysiological tools. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.