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Brief Communication: Atrial–Esophageal Fistulas after Radiofrequency Ablation

Jennifer E. Cummings, MD; Robert A. Schweikert, MD; Walid I. Saliba, MD; J. David Burkhardt, MD; Fethi Kilikaslan, MD; Eduardo Saad, MD; and Andrea Natale, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, and Hospital Pró-Cardíaco, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Grant Support: None.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: Consultancies: J.D. Burkhardt (Biosense Webster); Honoraria: R.A. Schweikert (Siemens Acuson); Grants received: A. Natale (Siemens, Biosense Webster).

Requests for Single Reprints: Jennifer E. Cummings, MD, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Section of Electrophysiology and Pacing, 9500 Euclid Avenue Desk F-15, Cleveland, OH 44195.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Cummings, Schweikert, Saliba, Burkhardt, Kilikaslan, and Natale: Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Section of Electrophysiology and Pacing, 9500 Euclid Avenue Desk F-15, Cleveland, OH 44195.

Dr. Saad: Hospital Pró-Cardíaco, 2607/303 Avenida Borges de Medeiros, 22470-001 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: J.E. Cummings, F. Kilikaslan, E. Saad, A. Natale.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: J.E. Cummings, R.A. Schweikert, A. Natale.

Drafting of the article: J.E. Cummings, R.A. Schweikert, J.D. Burkhardt, F. Kilikaslan, A. Natale.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: J.E. Cummings, R.A. Schweikert, W.I. Saliba, J.D. Burkhardt, E. Saad, A. Natale.

Final approval of the article: J.E. Cummings, R.A. Schweikert, W.I. Saliba, J.D. Burkhardt, E. Saad, A. Natale.

Provision of study materials or patients: E. Saad.

Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(8):572-574. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-8-200604180-00007
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Although devastating complications of procedures are infrequently systematically reported, physicians performing these procedures sometimes discuss them informally. Thus, we used an anonymous volunteer reporting method to identify cases that occurred between January 2004 and December 2005. We contacted physicians at several institutions who had treated patients with this complication and asked them to provide us with relevant medical records without identifying features. We then reviewed the medical records and entered demographic, clinical presentation, treatment, and survival data into the Cleveland Clinic Atrial Fibrillation Database. All physicians agreed to publication of general case information provided that the identity of the patients, themselves, and their institutions remained anonymous. Studies using the Atrial Fibrillation Database have been approved by the Cleveland Clinic Institutional Review Board.

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Grahic Jump Location
Three-dimensional computed tomographic reconstruction of the left atrium in relation to the esophagus.
Grahic Jump Location




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