Atypical Left Atrial Flutter after Intraoperative Radiofrequency Ablation of Chronic Atrial Fibrillation: Successful Ablation Using Three-Dimensional Electroanatomic Mapping


Address for correspondence: Hans Kottkamp, M.D., Universität Leipzig, Herzzentrum, Klinik für Innere Medizin/Kardiologie, Abteilung für Rhyth-mologie/Elektrophysiologie, Russenstrasse 19, D-04289 Leipzig, Germany. Fax: 49-341-865-1461; E-mail:


Left Atrial Flutter Ablation. Curative treatment of chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) remains a challenging task for electrophysiologists. Eliminating the initiating triggers by focal radiofrequency ablation in a subset of patients with paroxysmal AF and modifying the maintaining substrate by performing linear lesions within the left atrium in patients with prolonged episodes of AF are among the alternative approaches for management of these patients. Recently, a new intraoperative treatment procedure aimed at eliminating left atrial anatomic “anchor” reentrant circuits by induction of contiguous lesions using radiofrequency energy under direct vision was introduced. However, atypical left atrial flutter may occur during follow-up after intraoperative ablation of AF. These arrhythmias most likely are due to discontinuities in linear lesions; therefore, they can be successfully mapped and ablated in a subsequent percutaneous catheter ablation procedure. We report and discuss the case of a patient who underwent successful intraoperative ablation of chronic AF, but who developed atypical left atrial flutter postoperatively. Three-dimensional nonfluoroscopic electroanatomic mapping revealed a gap in the linear lesion line connecting the left upper and right upper pulmonary vein orifices. Ablation at the exit site of the breakthrough was successful.