Pulmonary vein stenosis or occlusion after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation: long-term comparison of drug-eluting versus large bare metal stents

Thomas Fink, Michael Schlüter, Christian Hendrik Heeger, Christine Lemes, Tina Lin, Tilman Maurer, Andreas Metzner, Shibu Mathew, Bruno Reissmann, Peter Wohlmuth, Andreas Rillig, Feifan Ouyang, Karl Heinz Kuck, Roland Richard Tilz

24 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Pulmonary vein stenosis or occlusion (PVS/O) following catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is a rare but potentially severe complication. Treatment options include angioplasty with or without stent implantation, but data on outcome and optimal treatment strategy are limited. We report long-term results after catheter-based treatment of patients with symptomatic PVS/O. Methods and results: Retrospective analysis was performed in patients undergoing pulmonary vein (PV) angiography for suspected PVS/O. All patients with PVS/O were treated with balloon angioplasty and implantation of a coronary drug-eluting stent (DES) or a peripheral large-diameter bare metal stent (LD-BMS). A total of 25 high-degree PVS/Os in 19 patients were treated. Nine PVs were treated with angioplasty and DES implantation and 16 with angioplasty and LD-BMS implantation. The ostial PV diameter was not different in the DES and LD-BMS groups (10.2 ± 2.5 mm vs. 11.1 ± 1.9 mm, P = 0.34), but the PV/stent diameter ratio was significantly lower in the former (0.43 ± 0.13 vs. 0.82 ± 0.13, P < 0.0001). Angiographic stent restenosis was observed at a median of 539 (interquartile range 99-774) days in 9 of 23 (39%) treated PVs. The restenosis rate in the LD-BMS group was only one-third of that in the DES group [3/14 (21%) vs. 6/9 (67%), respectively; P = 0.08]. Conclusion: The use of LD-BMS for the treatment of PVS/O was associated with an acceptable long-term outcome. Coronary DES implantation resulted in a high rate of restenosis and should therefore not be performed. Larger trials are needed to confirm our findings.

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Cardiological Center Luebeck (UHZL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-12 Cardiology, Angiology

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