Impact of active esophageal cooling on fluoroscopy usage during left atrial ablation


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9 Scopus citations


Risks to collateral structures exist with radiofrequency (RF) ablation of the left atrium to obtain pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Passive luminal esophageal temperature (LET) monitoring is commonly utilized, but increasing data suggest limited benefits with LET monitoring. In contrast, active cooling of the esophagus has been shown to significantly reduce esophageal injury. Active cooling of the esophagus also avoids the need for stopping and repositioning an LET probe during use, which may reduce the need for fluoroscopy use. This study aimed to measure the impact on fluoroscopy use during RF ablation with esophageal cooling using a dedicated cooling device in a low-fluoroscopy practice. All patients who underwent PVI over a one-year timeframe by a single provider were analyzed. Patients undergoing PVI prior to the incorporation of an esophageal cooling protocol into standard ablation practice were treated with traditional LET monitoring. Patients treated after this point received active esophageal cooling, in which no LET monitoring is utilized. A total of 280 patients were treated; 91 patients were treated using LET monitoring, and 189 patients were treated with esophageal cooling. The mean total fluoroscopy time before the implementation of the esophageal cooling protocol in 91 patients was 194 seconds [standard deviation (SD): 182 seconds] per case, with a median of 144 seconds. The mean total fluoroscopy time after implementation in 189 patients was 126 seconds (SD: 120 seconds) per case with a median of 96 seconds, representing a reduction of 35% per case (p < 0.0001, Mann-Whitney U test). In this largest study to date of active esophageal cooling during PVI, a 35% reduction in fluoroscopy time compared with patients who received LET monitoring was found. This reduction was seen despite an already low fluoroscopy usage rate in place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4749-4755
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Esophageal cooling
  • Esophageal injury
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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