Background: The frequency of pulmonary vein stenosis (PVS) after ablation for atrial fibrillation has decreased, but it remains a highly morbid condition. Although treatment strategies including pulmonary vein dilation and stenting have been described, the long-term impacts of these interventions are unknown. We evaluated the presentation of severe PVS, and examined the risk for restenosis after intervention using either balloon angioplasty (BA) alone or BA with stenting.
Methods: This was a prospective, observational study of 124 patients with severe PVS evaluated between 2000 and 2014.
Results: All 124 patients were identified as having severe PVS by computed tomography in 219 veins. One hundred two patients (82%) were symptomatic at diagnosis. The most common symptoms were dyspnea (67%), cough (45%), fatigue (45%), and decreased exercise tolerance (45%). Twenty-seven percent of patients experienced hemoptysis…
Conclusions: The diagnosis of PVS is challenging because of nonspecific symptoms and the need for dedicated pulmonary vein imaging. There is no difference in acute success by type of initial intervention; however, stenting significantly reduces the risk of subsequent pulmonary vein restenosis in comparison with BA.