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Pulsed field ablation (PFA) has been proposed as a novel alternative to radiofrequency (RF) and cryoablation in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). Following the occurrence of two cases of acute kidney injury (AKI) secondary to haemolysis after a PFA procedure, we evaluated haemolysis in a cohort of consecutive patients. Two cases of AKI occurred in last May and June 2023. AKI was secondary to acute and severe haemolysis after a PFA procedure. From June 2023, a total of 68 consecutive patients (64.3 ± 10.5 years) undergoing AF ablation with PFA were enrolled in the study. All patients had a blood sample the day after the procedure for the assessment of haemolysis indicators. The pentaspline PFA catheter was used with a total number of median applications of 64 (54; 76). Nineteen patients (28%) showed significantly depleted haptoglobin levels (<0.04 g/L). A significant inverse correlation was found between the plasma level of haptoglobin and the total number of applications. Two groups were compared: the haemolysis+ group (haptoglobin < 0.04 g/L) vs. the haemolysis- group. The total number of applications was significantly higher in the haemolysis+ group vs the haemolysis - group respectively 75 (62; 127) vs 62 (54; 71) P = 0.011. More than 70 applications seem to have better sensitivity and specificity to predict haemolysis. Intravascular haemolysis can occur after certain procedures of PFA. Acute kidney injury is a phenomenon that appears to be very rare after a PFA procedure. However, caution must be exercised in the number of applications to avoid severe haemolysis. © The Author(s) 2024. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.


Sandrine Venier, Nathan Vaxelaire, Peggy Jacon, Adrien Carabelli, Antoine Desbiolles, Frederic Garban, Pascal Defaye. Severe acute kidney injury related to haemolysis after pulsed field ablation for atrial fibrillation. Europace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac cellular electrophysiology of the European Society of Cardiology. 2023 Dec 28;26(1)

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PMID: 38175788

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