Paroxysmal AF catheter ablation with a contact force sensing catheter: Results of the prospective, multicenter SMART-AF trial

Academic Article


  • Background Catheter ablation is important for treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). Limited animal and human studies suggest a correlation between electrode-tissue contact and radiofrequency lesion generation. Objectives The study sought to assess the safety and effectiveness of an irrigated, contact force (CF)-sensing catheter in the treatment of drug refractory symptomatic PAF. Methods A prospective, multicenter, nonrandomized study was conducted. Enrollment criteria included: ≥3 symptomatic episodes of PAF within 6 months of enrollment and failure of ≥1 antiarrhythmic drug (Class I to IV). Ablation included pulmonary vein isolation with confirmed entrance block as procedural endpoint. Results A total of 172 patients were enrolled at 21 sites, where 161 patients had a study catheter inserted and 160 patients underwent radiofrequency application. Procedural-related serious adverse events occurring within 7 days of the procedure included tamponade (n = 4), pericarditis (n = 3), heart block (n = 1, prior to radiofrequency application), and vascular access complications (n = 4). By Kaplan-Meier analyses, 12-month freedom from atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter/atrial tachycardia recurrence was 72.5%. The average CF per procedure was 17.9 ± 9.4 g. When the CF employed was between investigator selected working ranges ≥80% of the time during therapy, outcomes were 4.25 times more likely to be successful (p = 0.0054; 95% confidence interval: 1.53 to 11.79). Conclusions The SMART-AF trial demonstrated that this irrigated CF-sensing catheter is safe and effective for the treatment of drug refractory symptomatic PAF, with no unanticipated device-related adverse events. The increased percent of time within investigator-targeted CF ranges correlates with increased freedom from arrhythmia recurrence. Stable CF during radiofrequency application increases the likelihood of 12-month success. (THERMOCOOL® SMARTTOUCH® Catheter for Treatment of Symptomatic Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation; NCT01385202) © 2014 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Natale A; Reddy VY; Monir G; Wilber DJ; Lindsay BD; McElderry HT; Kantipudi C; Mansour MC; Melby DP; Packer DL
  • Start Page

  • 647
  • End Page

  • 656
  • Volume

  • 64
  • Issue

  • 7