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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 950763, 9 pages
Review Article

Atrial Tachycardias Arising from Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation: A Proarrhythmic Bump or an Antiarrhythmic Turn?

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque, The Université Bordeaux II, 33604 Bordeaux-Pessac, France

Received 13 November 2009; Accepted 2 February 2010

Academic Editor: Brian Olshansky

Copyright © 2010 Ashok J. Shah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The occurrence of atrial tachycardias (AT) is a direct function of the volume of atrial tissue ablated in the patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Thus, the incidence of AT is highest in persistent AF patients undergoing stepwise ablation using the strategic combination of pulmonary vein isolation, electrogram based ablation and left atrial linear ablation. Using deductive mapping strategy, AT can be divided into three clinical categories viz. the macroreentry, the focal and the newly described localized reentry all of which are amenable to catheter ablation with success rate of 95%. Perimitral, roof dependent and cavotricuspid isthmus dependent AT involve large reentrant circuits which can be successfully ablated at the left mitral isthmus, left atrial roof and tricuspid isthmus respectively. Complete bidirectional block across the sites of linear ablation is a necessary endpoint. Focal and localized reentrant AT commonly originate from but are not limited to the septum, posteroinferior left atrium, venous ostia, base of the left atrial appendage and left mitral isthmus and they respond quickly to focal ablation. AT not only represents ablation-induced proarrhythmia but also forms a bridge between AF and sinus rhythm in longstanding AF patients treated successfully with catheter ablation.