Prospective randomized comparison of cooled radiofrequency versus standard radiofrequency energy for ablation of typical atrial flutter

Walter L. Atiga, Seth J. Worley, John Hummel, Ronald D. Berger, Douglas C. Gohn, Nicholas J. Mandalakas, Steven Kalbfleisch, Henry Halperin, Kevin Donahue, Gordon Tomaselli, Hugh Calkins, Emile Daoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In patients with atrial flutter, conventional RF ablation may not result in complete isthmus block. This prospective, randomized study tested the hypothesis that the cooled RF ablation is safe and facilitates the achievement of isthmus block with fewer RF applications than with standard ablation for typical atrial flutter. Isthmus ablation was performed in 59 patients (40 men, 64 ± 14 years) with type I atrial flutter using standard RF (n = 31) or cooled RF (n = 28) catheters with crossover after 12 unsuccessful RF applications. The endpoint was bidirectional isthmus block or a total of 24 unsuccessful RF applications. After the first 12 RF applications, 17 (55%) of 31 standard RF and 22 (79%) of 28 cooled RF patients had bidirectional isthmus block (P < 0.05). After the remaining patients crossed over to the alternate RF ablation system and underwent up to 12 more RF applications, bidirectional isthmus block had been demonstrated in 27 (87%) of 31 standard RF and 25 (89%) of 28 cooled RF patients (P = NS). Isthmus block was not achieved within 24 RF applications in four standard and three cooled RF patients. Mean measured tip temperatures for cooled RF were lower than for standard RF (38.5°C ± 6.98°C vs 57.2°C ± 7.42°C, P < 0.0001). Peak temperatures were also lower for cooled RF compared to standard RF (45.7°C ± 22.7°C vs 63.4°C ± 9.87°C, P < 0.0001). Importantly, mean power delivered was significantly higher for cooled than for standard RF (42.3 ± 9.48 vs 34.0 ± 14.0 W, P < 0.0001). There were no serious complications for either ablation system. During a 12.8 ± 3.76-month follow-up, there were two atrial flutter recurrences in the cooled RF group and four in the standard RF group (P = NS). In patients with type I atrial flutter, ablation with the cooled RF catheter is as safe as, and facilitates creation of bidirectional isthmus block more rapidly than, standard RF ablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1178
Number of pages7
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial flutter
  • Cooled
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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