Long-Term Outcomes After Ablation for Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Using the Second-Generation Cryoballoon: Final Results From STOP AF Post-Approval Study

STOP AF PAS Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: STOP AF PAS (Sustained Treatment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Post-Approval Study) is the first prospective, multicenter, 3-year study in North America to assess long-term safety and effectiveness of the cryoballoon for treatment of patients with drug-refractory symptomatic pAF. Background: The STOP AF PAS was required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the time of approval of the first-generation cryoballoon for the treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (pAF). The second-generation cryoballoon (CB2) was commercially released shortly after this trial was initiated. Methods: The study was nonrandomized. Enrollment was completed with 344 eligible patients undergoing pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) using the CB2. Procedure-related safety and freedom from AF and symptomatic atrial flutter/atrial tachycardia through 3 years were determined. Documented atrial arrhythmias ≥30 s were considered treatment failures. Results: Acute PVI was achieved in 99.3% (1,341 of 1,350) of veins. Mean follow-up was 34 ± 7 months. The rate of major complications was 5.8%, including a 3.2% rate of phrenic nerve injury, which resolved in all but 1 patient by 36 months. At 36 months, 11.7% of patients were prescribed antiarrhythmic agents, inclusive of “pill-in-the-pocket” administration. Freedom from AF was 81.6% at 12 months, 73.8% at 24 months, and 68.1% at 36 months. Freedom from AF and symptomatic atrial flutter/atrial tachycardia was 79.0% at 12 months, 70.8% at 24 months, and 64.1% at 36 months. Freedom from a repeat ablation procedure was 80.9% at 36 months. Conclusions: PVI using the CB2 was an effective treatment for patients with pAF, with freedom from all atrial arrhythmias of 64% at 36 months. (Sustained Treatment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Post-Approval Study [STOP AF PAS]; NCT01456949)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-314
Number of pages9
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019



  • atrial fibrillation
  • catheter ablation
  • cryoballoon
  • phrenic nerve
  • pulmonary vein isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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