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Mapping and ablation of non-pulmonary vein drivers of persistent atrial fibrillation: Has a STAR been born?
  • Jay Montgomery
Jay Montgomery
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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While pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) remains the cornerstone for invasive treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), patients with persistent AF still have a high rate of recurrence with this method. Stochastic Trajectory Analysis of Ranked signals (STAR) mapping uses data from multiple individual wavefronts during ongoing AF to identify local drivers of persistent AF. In this non-randomized study, STAR mapping and ablation showed significantly lower recurrence of atrial arrhythmias compared to a consecutive PVI-only cohort and a propensity-matched ‘conventional ablation’ cohort (consisting of PVI plus complex fractionated atrial electrogram ablation or linear ablation). This benefit was driven by a much lower rate of AF recurrence in the STAR (6.2%) cohort vs PVI-only (44%) or ‘conventional’ (40%) with no significant difference in atrial tachycardia recurrence. Additionally, AF termination rates during ablation were approximately three times higher in the STAR cohort. While the analysis is retrospective and not randomized, the STAR cohort was also the only cohort with complete cessation of anti-arrhythmic drugs at three months and Holter monitoring at 6 and 12 months post-ablation per protocol. While STAR mapping appears to be a very promising new tool for treating persistent AF, history predicts at least some regression to the mean when future randomized comparisons are made. The authors have planned a multicenter randomized trial of PVI plus STAR mapping vs PVI-only for persistent AF. The global community of electrophysiologists and patients with AF eagerly awaits the results.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

15 Dec 2020Submitted to Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
18 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
18 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
20 Dec 2020Editorial Decision: Accept