Left Atrial Arrhythmia Substrate Identification After Confirmed durABLE Pulmonary Vein Isolation (LAUDABLE)

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Updated on 4 February 2023
radiofrequency ablation
catheter ablation
atrial arrhythmia
electrophysiological study
persistent atrial fibrillation
pulmonary vein isolation


Under current practice, patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, can be offered one of two types of ablation treatment. Both of these treatments are aimed at electrically isolating the 4 pulmonary veins (PVs) at the back of the heart which connect it to the lungs. These PVs have been identified to serve as the sites where the abnormal heart rhythm is generated. One of the treatments is called radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation, where 'heat energy' is delivered through the tip of a catheter to make tiny burns (ablation lesions) around the outlines of the 4 PVs at their bases. The other treatment technique utilises a 'cold balloon' (Cryoenergy or cryoballoon ablation) to freeze the bases of the 4 PVs to achieve the electrical isolation. Sometimes the treated tissues develop reconnections that can lead to a recurrence of the abnormal heart rhythm, and thus the need for a repeat procedure.

In this study, participants will receive a second treatment 2 months after the first one. During the second treatment, investigators will check to identify areas that have developed reconnections since the first treatment; these will be treated again. This will increase the chances of all participants having a complete treatment.

In order to improve understanding of how best to treat this condition, investigators will also carry out some further measurements within the heart during the repeat procedure. During these measurements, investigators will check to see if treatment has succeeded in reducing the occurrence of an abnormal heart rhythm. In the group of participants in whom RF energy is used for the initial procedure, investigators will also treat the back wall of the heart, and repeat these measurements.


Persistent atrial fibrillation (PeAF) is defined as continuous atrial fibrillation for 7 days or more. Approximately 10% of people are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF) by age 80 years; and among people of European descent, 26% of men and 23% of women have a lifetime risk of developing AF after age 40.

Catheter ablation by pulmonary vein isolation is the usual approach employed for PeAF. This involves making lesions within the pulmonary veins to achieve electrical isolation. Electrical isolation cuts off abnormal electrical triggers originating from the pulmonary veins. However, treatment outcomes are less than optimal with a lot of variability in success rates for different techniques. Hence, the optimal treatment strategy for patients with PeAF is not clear.

In this pilot study, investigators aim to study two different treatment modalities of catheter ablation: cold balloon (cryoballoon, Group 1) and hot tip (radiofrequency ablation, Group 2) used in (electrically) isolating the pulmonary veins. There will be 1:1 randomisation to either of the two modalities. All participants will subsequently undergo a repeat procedure 2 months later to identify reconnections and to re-isolate the veins using the hot tip (radiofrequency ablation) guided by an ultra-high density mapping technology. During the repeat procedure, investigators will perform further electrophysiological studies including assessing arrhythmia inducibility and measuring the extent of isolated areas. For participants in Group 2, investigators will also make some lesions in the back wall of the heart (posterior wall isolation) and recheck arrhythmia inducibility.

All participants will be given a handheld ECG recording (Omron) device. Participants will be shown how to use the device to make daily 30-second recordings and when they have symptoms, to be reviewed. Follow up will be at 3, 6 and 12 months.

Condition Atrial Fibrillation, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation
Treatment Cryoballoon pulmonary vein isolation, Radiofrequency pulmonary vein isolation, Repeat electrophysiological study, Left atrial posterior wall isolation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04111731
SponsorLiverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Last Modified on4 February 2023

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