Shorter RSPV cryoapplications result in less phrenic nerve injury and similar 1-year freedom from atrial fibrillation

Marleen M. D. Molenaar*, Tim Hesselink, Rachel M. A. ter Bekke, Marcoen F. Scholten, Randy Manusama, Laurent Pison, Marjolein Brusse-Keizer, Karin Kraaier, Bernard ten Haken, Jan G. Grandjean, Carl C. Timmermans, Jurren M. van Opstal

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: In the 123-study, we prospectively assessed, in a randomized fashion, the minimal cryoballoon application time necessary to achieve pulmonary vein (PV) isolation (PVI) in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) with the aim to reduce complications by shortening the application duration. The first results of this study demonstrated that shortened cryoballoon applications (<2 minutes) resulted in less phrenic nerve injury (PNI) without compromising acute isolation efficacy for the right PVs. We now report the 1-year follow-up results regarding safety and efficacy of shorter cryoballoon applications. Methods: A total of 222 patients with AF were randomized to two applications of 1 min “short,” 2 min “medium,” or 3 min “long” duration, 74 per group. Recurrence of AF and PV reconduction at 1-year follow-up were assessed. Results: The overall 1-year freedom from AF was 79% and did not differ significantly between the short, medium, and long application groups (77%, 74%, and 85% for short, medium, and long application groups, respectively; P = 0.07). In 30 patients, a redo PVI procedure was performed. For all four PVs, there was no significant difference in reconduction between the three groups. Reconduction was most common in the left superior PV (57%). The right superior PV (RSPV) showed significantly less reconduction (17%) compared to the other PVs. Conclusions: Shortening cryoballoon applications of the RSPV to <2 minutes results in less PNI, while acute success and 1-year freedom from AF are not compromised. Therefore, shorter cryoballoon applications (especially) in the RSPV could be used to reduce PNI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1179
Number of pages7
JournalPacing and clinical electrophysiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • cryoballoon
  • phrenic nerve injury
  • pulmonary vein isolation
  • safety
  • atrial fibrillation


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