Pulmonary Vein Stenosis After Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation
Background—This report describes the complication of pulmonary vein stenosis with resultant severe pulmonary hypertension that developed in 2 patients after successful catheter ablation of chronic atrial fibrillation.
Methods and Results—Three months after successful catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation, both patients developed progressive dyspnea and pulmonary hypertension. Both were found to have severe stenosis of all 4 pulmonary veins near the junction with the left atrium. Balloon dilation of the stenotic pulmonary veins was performed in these patients, with improvement in dyspnea and pulmonary hypertension.
Conclusions—The complication of pulmonary vein stenosis is potentially life-threatening, and the application of radiofrequency current within the pulmonary veins with standard catheter technology should be avoided. This complication can be treated with balloon dilation, although the long-term course is unknown.
- Received February 5, 1998.
- Revision received July 1, 1998.
- Accepted July 1, 1998.
- Copyright © 1998 by American Heart Association