Background Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is an established ablation procedure for atrial fibrillation (AF), however, PVI alone is insufficient to suppress AF recurrence. Non-pulmonary vein (non-PV) trigger ablation is one of the promising strategies beyond PVI and has been shown to be effective in refractory/persistent AF cases. To make non-PV trigger ablation more standardized, it is essential to develop a simple method to localize the origin of non-PV triggers. Methods We retrospectively analyzed 37 non-PV triggers in 751 ablation sessions for symptomatic AF from January 2017 to December 2020. Regarding non-PV triggers, intra-atrial activation interval from the earliest in right atrium (RA) to proximal coronary sinus (CS) (RA-CSp) and that from the earliest in RA to distal CS (RA-CSd) obtained by a basically-positioned duodecapolar RA-CS catheter were compared among 3 originating non-PV areas [RA, atrial septum (SEP) and left atrium (LA)]. Results RA-CSp of RA non-PV trigger (56.4 ± 23.4 ms) was significantly longer than that of SEP non-PV (14.8 ± 25.6 ms, p = 0.019) and LA non-PV (-24.9 ± 27.9 ms, p = 0.0004). RA-CSd of RA non-PV (75.9 ± 32.1 ms) was significantly longer than that of SEP non-PV (34.2 ± 32.6 ms, p = 0.040) and LA non-PV (-13.3 ± 41.2 ms, p = 0.0008). RA-CSp and RA-CSd of SEP non-PV were significantly longer than those of LA non-PV (p = 0.022 and p = 0.016, respectively). Sensitivity and specificity of an algorithm to differentiate the area of non-PV trigger using RA-CSp (cut-off value: 50 ms) and RA-CSd (cut-off value: 0 ms) were 88% and 97% for RA non-PV, 81% and 73% for SEP non-PV, 65% and 95% for LA non-PV, respectively. Conclusions The analysis of intra-atrial activation sequences was useful to differentiate non-PV trigger areas. A simple algorithm to localize the area of non-PV trigger would be helpful to identify non-PV trigger sites in AF ablation.
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