A novel risk model for very late return of atrial fibrillation beyond 1 year after cryoballoon ablation: the SCALE-CryoAF score

Graham Peigh, Rachel M. Kaplan, Aakash Bavishi, Celso L. Diaz, Jayson R. Baman, Richard Matiasz, Amar Trivedi, Prasongchai Sattayaprasert, Jeremiah Wasserlauf, Mark J. Shen, Tatjana S. Potpara, Alexandru B. Chicos, Rishi Arora, Susan Kim, Albert Lin, Nishant Verma, Bradley P. Knight, Rod S. Passman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Cryoballoon ablation (CBA) is an effective technique for pulmonary vein isolation (PVI). To date, there are no risk models to predict very late recurrence of atrial fibrillation (VLRAF) after CBA. Methods: Retrospective analysis of a single-center database was performed. Inclusion criteria included PVI using CBA for atrial fibrillation (AF) without additional ablation targets, follow-up > 365 days, and no recurrent AF between 90 and 365 days after procedure. The primary endpoint was recurrent AF > 30 s > 12 months post-CBA. A risk model was created using clinical variables. Results: Of 674 CBA performed from 2011 to 2016, 300 patients (200 male, 62.0 ± 9.9 years) met inclusion criteria. Of these, 159 (53.0%) patients had paroxysmal AF. Patients had an average of 9.5 ± 2.7 cryoballoon freezes, and no patients required additional radiofrequency ablation lesion sets. Over a follow-up of 995 ± 490 days, 77/300 (25.7%) patients exhibited VLRAF. Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated that Structural heart disease (1 point), Coronary artery disease (3 points), left Atrial diameter > 43 mm (1 point), Left bundle branch block (3 points), Early return of AF (4 points), and non-paroxysmal AF (3 points) were risk factors for VLRAF. Combining these variables into a risk model, SCALE-CryoAF, (min 0; max 15) predicted VLRAF with an area under the curve of 0.73. Conclusion: SCALE-CryoAF is the first risk model to specifically predict first recurrence of AF beyond 1 year, VLRAF, after CBA. Model discrimination demonstrates that SCALE-CryoAF predicts VLRAF after CBA significantly better than other risk models for AF recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cryoballoon ablation
  • Risk score
  • Very late return of atrial fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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