Atrial fibrillation (AF), one of the most frequent types of arrhythmias, affects more than 30 million people worldwide and, in Spain, it is estimated that there are more than 600,000. In addition, it is also estimated that around 37% of the world's population over the age of 40 will suffer from it in their lifetime. Ablation (isolation of the pulmonary veins of the left atrium) with a catheter, aimed at isolating the pulmonary veins of the left atrium, is the conventional therapy for this disease when it does not respond to drug therapy. However, ablation offers suboptimal results in complex cases of AF because other regions of the atria, beyond the pulmonary veins, are also relevant to the maintenance of the arrhythmia. This is especially true in cases of persistent AF with months or years of evolution.
Researchers from the CNIC and HCSC have developed a system to guide ablation procedures in a patient-specific way in complex cases of persistent atrial fibrillation, identifying these key regions to be treated with great precision and specificity. Furthermore, it does not require additional equipment or consumables, but only software that could be implemented within any conventional electroanatomical browser, so it would not make current pulmonary vein isolation procedures more expensive, with the advantage of being able to perform patient-specific ablation in complex cases.