AIMS: Force–Time Integral (FTI) is commonly used as a marker of ablation lesion quality during pulmonary vein isolation (PVI), but does not incorporate power. Ablation Index (AI) is a novel lesion quality marker that utilizes contact force, time, and power in a weighted formula. Furthermore, only a single FTI target value has been suggested despite regional variation in left atrial wall thickness. We aimed to study AI's and FTI's relationships with PV reconnection at repeat electrophysiology study, and regional threshold values that predicted no reconnection.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Forty paroxysmal atrial fibrillation patients underwent contact force-guided PVI, and the minimum and mean AI and FTI values for each segment were identified according to a 12-segment model. All patients underwent repeat electrophysiology study at 2 months, regardless of symptoms, to identify sites of PV reconnection. Late PV reconnection was seen in 53 (11%) segments in 25 (62%) patients. Reconnected segments had significantly lower minimum AI [308 (252–336) vs. 373 (323–423), P < 0.0001] and FTI [137 (92–182) vs. 228 (157–334), P < 0.0001] compared with non-reconnected segments. Minimum AI and FTI were both independently predictive, but AI had a smaller P value. Higher minimum AI and FTI values were required to avoid reconnection in anterior/roof segments than for posterior/inferior segments (P < 0.0001). No reconnection was seen where the minimum AI value was ≥370 for posterior/inferior segments and ≥480 for anterior/roof segments.
CONCLUSION: The minimum AI value in a PVI segment is independently predictive of reconnection of that segment at repeat electrophysiology study. Higher AI and FTI values are required for anterior/roof segments than for posterior/inferior segments to prevent reconnection.