Background. Cerebral thromboembolism is a rare but feared complication of transcatheter ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Here, we aimed to test which pre-procedural anticoagulation strategy results in less intracardiac activation of hemostasis during ablation. Patients and methods. In this observational study, 54 paroxysmal/persistent AF patients undergoing cryoballoon ablation were grouped according to their periprocedural anticoagulation strategy: no anticoagulation (oral anticoagulation (OAC) free; n = 24), uninterrupted vitamin K antagonists (VKA) (n = 11), uninterrupted dabigatran (n = 17). Blood was drawn from the left atrium before and immediately after the ablation procedure. Cryoablations were performed according to standard protocols, during which heparin was administered. Heparin-insensitive markers of hemostasis and endothelial damage were tested from intracardiac samples: D-dimer, quantitative fibrin monomer (FM), plasmin-antiplasmin complex (PAP), von Willebrand factor (VWF) antigen, chromogenic factor VIII (FVIII) activity. Results. D-dimer increased significantly in all groups post-ablation, with lowest levels in the dabigatran group (median [interquartile range]: 0.27 [0.36] vs. 1.09 [1.30] and 0.74 [0.26] mg/L in OAC free and uninterrupted VKA groups, respectively, p p < 0.001). VWF antigen and FVIII activity increased similarly post-ablation in all groups, suggesting comparable procedure-related endothelial damage. Conclusion. Dabigatran provides greater inhibition against intracardiac activation of hemostasis as compared to VKAs during cryoballoon catheter ablation.