A 70-year-old woman with persistent atrial fibrillation underwent pulmonary vein isolation and linear ablation with a contact sensor catheter. During cavotricuspid isthmus ablation, a steam pop resulted in cardiac tamponade, and the patient developed severe hypotension despite successful pericardial puncture and minimal residual pericardial effusion. Right coronary artery angiography revealed extravasal contrast medium accumulation posterior of the Crux Cordis. Emergent cardiac surgery confirmed isolated disruption of the artery in the absence of additional heart perforation. Although contact sensor catheters may reduce complications, steam pops can still occur and result in dramatic complications.
cing Clin Electrophysiol. 2016 Jul;39(7):771-3