Visualization of fibroblast activation using 68Ga-FAPI PET/CT after pulmonary vein isolation with pulsed field compared with cryoballoon ablation

Jana Kupusovic, Lukas Kessler, Florian Bruns, Jan Eric Bohnen, Stephan G. Nekolla, Manuel M. Weber, Anna Lauenroth, Manuel Rattka, Ken Hermann, Dobromir Dobrev, Tienush Rassaf, Reza Wakili, Christoph Rischpler, Johannes Siebermair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Pulsed-field ablation (PFA) is a novel ablation modality for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablating myocardium by electroporation without tissue-heating. With its different mechanism of tissue ablation, it is assumed that lesion creation is divergent to thermal energy sources. 68Ga-fibroblast-activation protein inhibitor (FAPI) PET/CT targets FAP-alpha expressed by activated fibroblasts. We aimed to assess 68Ga-FAPI uptake in pulmonary veins as surrogate for ablation damage after PFA and cryoballoon ablation (CBA). Methods: 26 patients (15 PFA, 11 CBA) underwent 68Ga-FAPI-PET/CT after ablation. Standardized uptake values (SUV) and fibroblast-activation volumes of localized tracer uptake were assessed. Results: Patient characteristics were comparable between groups. In PFA, focal FAPI uptake was only observed in 3/15 (20%) patients, whereas in the CBA cohort, 10/11 (90.9%) patients showed atrial visual uptake. We observed lower values of SUVmax (2.85 ± 0.56 vs 4.71 ± 2.06, P = 0.025) and FAV (1.13 ± 0.84 cm3 vs 3.91 ± 2.74 cm3, P = 0.014) along with a trend towards lower SUVpeak and SUVmean in PFA vs CBA patients, respectively. Conclusion: Tissue response with respect to fibroblast activation seems to be less pronounced in PFA compared to established thermal ablation systems. This functional assessment might contribute to a better understanding of lesion formation in thermal and PFA ablation potentially contributing to better safety outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2018-2028
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • FAPI
  • fibroblast activation
  • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • pulmonary vein isolation (PVI)
  • pulse field ablation (PFA)

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