Background: Although pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is effective in the treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF), its success rates in persistent AF are suboptimal. Ablation strategies to improve outcomes including additional lesions beyond PVI have not consistently shown benefit. Recurrence as perimitral flutter (PMF) is a common form of ablation failure. The vein of Marshall (VOM) contains myocardial connections and abundant sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation implicated in the genesis and maintenance of AF, and is anatomically co-localized with the mitral isthmus, the ablation target of PMF. VOM ethanol infusion is effective in targeting these arrhythmia substrates. Objective: To test the safety and efficacy of VOM ethanol infusion when added to PVI in patients undergoing either de novo ablation of persistent AF or after a previous ablation failure. Study design: VENUS-AF and MARS-AF are prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled trials. VENUS-AF will enroll patients undergoing their first catheter ablation of persistent AF. MARS-AF will enroll patients undergoing ablation after previous ablation failure(s). Patients (n = 405) will be randomized to PVI alone or in combination with VOM ethanol infusion. The primary endpoints include procedural safety and freedom from AF or atrial tachycardia (AT) of more than 30 seconds on 30-day continuous event monitors at 6 and 12 months after randomization procedure (single-procedure success), off antiarrhythmic drugs. Key secondary endpoints include AF burden, freedom from AF/AT after repeat procedures and quality of life. Conclusions: The VENUS-AF and MARS-AF will determine the safety and potential rhythm control benefit of VOM ethanol infusion when added to PVI in patients with persistent AF undergoing de novo or repeat ablation, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine