Pulmonary vein stenosis after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation

Academic Article


  • Background - This report describes the complication of pulmonary vein stenosis with resultant severe pulmonary hypertension that developed in 2 patients after successful catheter ablation of chronic atrial fibrillation. Methods and Results - Three months after successful catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation, both patients developed progressive dyspnea and pulmonary hypertension. Both were found to have severe stenosis of all 4 pulmonary veins near the junction with the left atrium. Balloon dilation of the stenotic pulmonary veins was performed in these patients, with improvement in dyspnea and pulmonary hypertension. Conclusions - The complication of pulmonary vein stenosis is potentially life-threatening, and the application of radiofrequency current within the pulmonary veins with standard catheter technology should be avoided. This complication can be treated with balloon dilation, although the long-term course is unknown.
  • Published In

  • Circulation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Robbins IM; Colvin EV; Doyle TP; Kemp WE; Loyd JE; McMahon WS; Kay GN
  • Start Page

  • 1769
  • End Page

  • 1775
  • Volume

  • 98
  • Issue

  • 17