Effects of pulmonary vein ablation on regional atrial vagal innervation and vulnerability to atrial fibrillation in dogs

Mehdi Razavi, Shulong Zhang, Donghui Yang, Robert A. Sanders, Biswajit Kar, Scott Delapasse, Tomohiko Ai, Wendel Moreira, Bari Olivier, Dirar S. Khoury, Jie Cheng

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22 Scopus citations


Introduction: Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation has proven to be an effective therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF). However, clinical evidence suggests that suppression of AF after PV isolation could not be fully attributed to the interruption of electrical conduction in and out of the PVs. Furthermore, little is known regarding the effects of ablation around the PVs on the atrial electrophysiological properties. We aimed to study the changes in atrial response to vagal stimulation (VS) after PV ablation (PVA). Methods: We studied 11 adult mongrel dogs under general anesthesia. Bilateral cervical sympathovagal trunks were decentralized. Propranolol was given to block sympathetic effects. Multipolar catheters were placed into right atrial appendage (RAA), distal and proximal coronary sinus (CSD, CSP), and left atrial free wall (LAFW). PVA was performed via trans-septal approach. Atrial effective refractory period (AERP) and vulnerability window (VW) of AF were measured with and without VS before and after ablation to isolate the PVs. Results: After ablation, AERP shortening in response to VS significantly decreased in the left atrium (43.64 ± 21.57 vs 11.82 ± 9.82 msec, P < 0.001 at LAFW; 50.91 ± 26.25 vs 11.82 ± 14.01 msec, P < 0.001 at CSP; 50 ± 31.94 vs 17.27 ± 20.54 msec, P < 0.005 at CSD), while the response to VS did not change significantly at RAA (58.18 ± 28.22 vs 50.91 ± 22.12 msec, P = 0.245). After ablation, atrial fibrillation VW during VS narrowed (20.63 ± 11.48 vs 5.63 ± 8.63 msec, P < 0.03 at LAFW; 26.25 ± 12.46 vs 5.00 ± 9.64 msec, P = 0.001 at CSP; 28.75 ± 18.47 vs 6.88 ± 7.53 msec, P < 0.02 at CSD, and 33.75 ± 24.5 vs 16.25 ± 9.91 msec, P = 0.03 at RAA). Conclusions: Ablation around the PV ostia diminishes left atrial response to VS and decreases the atrial VW. The attenuated vagal response after ablation may contribute to the suppression of AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-884
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005



  • Ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Vagal denervation
  • Vulnerability window

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Razavi, M., Zhang, S., Yang, D., Sanders, R. A., Kar, B., Delapasse, S., Ai, T., Moreira, W., Olivier, B., Khoury, D. S., & Cheng, J. (2005). Effects of pulmonary vein ablation on regional atrial vagal innervation and vulnerability to atrial fibrillation in dogs. Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, 16(8), 879-884. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2005.50048.x