Int J Arrhythm.  2020 Sep;21(3):e13. 10.1186/s42444-020-00021-9.

Clinical outcomes after pulmonary vein isolation using an automated tagging module in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

  • 1Department of Cardiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88, Olympic‑ro 43‑gil, Songpa‑gu, Seoul 05505, South Korea


An automated tagging module (VISITAG™; Biosense Webster, Irvine, CA) allows objective demonstration of energy delivery. However, the effect of VISITAG™ on clinical outcomes remains unclear. This study evaluated (1) clinical outcome after AF ablation using VISITAG™ and (2) the prevalence of gaps in the ablation line.
This retrospective analysis included 157 consecutive patients (mean age, 56.7 years; 73.2% men) with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation who underwent successful PVI between 2013 and 2016. Outcomes after the index procedure were compared between those using the VISITAG™ module (VISITAG group, n = 62) and those not using it (control group, n = 95). The primary outcome was recurrence of AF or atrial tachycardia after a blanking period of 3 months.
The VISITAG group showed significantly shorter overall procedure time (172.2 ± 37.6 min vs. 286.9 ± 66.7 min, P < 0.001), ablation time (49.8 ± 9.7 min vs. 82.8 ± 28.2 min, P < 0.001), and fluoroscopy time (11.8 ± 5.3 min vs. 34.2 ± 30.1 min, P < 0.001) compared with controls. The 1-year recurrence-free survival rate was not statistically different between the groups (70.8% in the VISITAG group vs. 79.2% in the control group, P = 0.189). Gaps in the VISITAG line were common in the both carina and left side pulmonary veins. Patients without gaps (≥ 5 mm) by the criteria emphasizing catheter stability (> 15 s, < 4 mm range, > 60% force over time, > 6 g contact force) showed higher recurrence-free survival rate compared with those with gaps (borderline statistical significance, 91.7% vs. 66.0%, P = 0.094).
Use of the VISITAG™ module significantly reduced procedure, ablation, and fluoroscopic times with a similar AF/AT recurrence rate compared with the conventional ablation. Clinical implications of minimizing gaps along the ablation line should be evaluated further in the future prospective studies.


Atrial fibrillation; Catheter ablation; Radiofrequency; Recurrence
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