BACKGROUND: Combination of elementary parameters (force, time, power, impedance drop) has been proposed to optimize radiofrequency (RF) delivery. They have been partially validated in clinical studies.
AIMS: The aim of this study was to assess contact-force (CF) implementation into clinical practice.
METHODS: A 36-question electronic form was sent to 105 electrophysiologists (EP) including some general questions concerning the practice of catheter atrial fibrillation ablation and items concerning the parameters used for CF-guided ablation.
RESULTS: Answers from 98 EP were collected (93% response rate). The CF-catheters used were Smart Touch, Biosense (52%), Tacticath, Saint-Jude Medical (12%), or both (27%) and no CF (9%). The power applied on the left atrial (LA) anterior (LAAW) and posterior (LAPW) wall was, respectively, 26-34 W (for 73% of the EP) and below 25 W (88% of the EP). Forty percent of the Visitag® users mostly used the nominal parameters. Seventy-five percent of the users did not use automatic display of the impedance drop. For the Tacticath users, 57% used a target value of 400 gs on the LAAW and 300 to 400 gs on the LAPW. Lesion Size Index was exceptionally used.
CONCLUSIONS: The parameters used for CF-guided ablation are widely variable among the different operators. Further prospective studies are needed to validate the targets for automatic annotation of the RF applications.