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Stay cool or in good contact?

Karl H. Kuck, Thomas Fink, Erik Wissner
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euv226 4-5 First published online: 3 February 2016

This editorial refers to ‘Comparison between radiofrequency with contact force-sensing and second-generation cryoballoon for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation catheter ablation: a multicentre European evaluation’ by F. Squara et al., on page 718–724.

Since the landmark publication by Haissaguerre et al.1 on the importance of the pulmonary veins (PVs) as triggers for the induction and maintenance of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF), significant efforts have been made to further improve available catheter technologies and ablative techniques. Recently, the second-generation cryoballoon (CB2) was introduced, featuring improved cooling characteristics and better long-term clinical success rates than the first-generation device.24 Catheter ablation using radiofrequency (RF) energy is dependent on contact force (CF) as a key parameter for transmural lesion formation.5 Currently, two CF catheters, the TactiCath Quartz (St Jude Medical, St Paul, MN, USA) and the Thermocool Smarttouch CF (Biosense Webster Inc., Diamond Bar, CA, USA), allow direct measurement of applied CF during ablation. The EFFICAS …

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