Isolation of the pulmonary veins may be an effective treatment modality for eliminating atrial fibrillation (AF) episodes but unfortunately not for all patients. When ablative therapy fails, it is assumed that AF has progressed from a trigger-driven to a substrate-mediated arrhythmia. The effect of radiofrequency ablation on persistent AF can be attributed to various mechanisms, including elimination of the trigger, modification of the arrhythmogenic substrate, interruption of crucial pathways of conduction, atrial debulking, or atrial denervation. This review discusses the possible effects of pulmonary vein isolation on the fibrillatory process and the necessity of cardiac mapping in order to comprehend the mechanisms of AF in the individual patient and to select the optimal treatment modality.

, , ,,
Netherlands Heart Journal
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Yaksh, A., Kik, C., Knops, S., Roos-Hesselink, J., Bogers, A., Zijlstra, F., … de Groot, N. (2014). Atrial fibrillation: To map or not to map?. Netherlands Heart Journal (Vol. 22, pp. 259–266). doi:10.1007/s12471-013-0481-0