Phrenic Nerve Damage After Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Using Second Generation Cryoballoon


  • Hikmet Yorgun
  • Yusuf Ziya Şener
  • Metin Okşul
  • Uğur Canpolat
  • Banu Evranos
  • Ahmet Hakan Ateş
  • Kudret Aytemir





Cryoballoon (CB) ablation is a safe alternative to radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, phrenic nerve damage (PND) is a bothersome complication of the procedure. In this study, we aimed to establish the incidence of PND during CB and define the characteristics of affected patients.

Material & Methods: 

In this retrospective analysis, all patients with AF that underwent CB ablation between 2013 and 2018 were included into the study. Characteristics and outcomes of patients complicated with  PND were evaluated. PNP was detected by palpation of diaphragma contractions or observation of reduced diaphragma motility by fluoroscopy during the procedure.


Totally 653 patients were included in the study. PND was detected in 3.5% (23/653) of the patients. Median age of the patients with PNP was 56 (25-78) years and 10 patients (43.4 %) were male. The most common ablation site related with PND was RSPV (18 patients, 78%). Transient PND was observed in 16 patients (69%) of the patients which resolved within 24 hours after the procedure. In the remaining 5 patients (21%) diaphragmatic contraction was recovered at the 6th month control visit. In 2 patients (10%), phrenic nerve paralysis was still present >1 year visit


PND is not a rare complication of CB ablation despite all the preventive maneuvers during the procedure and technological developments. However, most of the PND recovered during the follow-up.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Yorgun H, Şener YZ, Okşul M, Canpolat U, Evranos B, Ateş AH, Aytemir K. Phrenic Nerve Damage After Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Using Second Generation Cryoballoon. Acta Medica [Internet]. 2019 Mar. 30 [cited 2024 May 22];50(1):14-9. Available from:



Original Article