• atrial fibrillation;
  • cost analysis;
  • catheter ablation

WEERASOORIYA, R., et al.: Cost Analysis of Catheter Ablation for Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation. RF ablation for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) is a curative treatment, which when successful, eliminates the need to take antiarrhythmic drugs, be anticoagulated, and have recurrent physician visits or hospital admissions. The authors performed a retrospective cost comparison of RF ablation versus drug therapy for PAF. The study population consisted of 118 consecutive patients with symptomatic, drug refractory PAF who underwent1.52 ± 0.71RF ablation procedures (range 1–4) for PAF. During a follow-up of 32 ± 15 weeks, 85 (72%) patients remained free of clinical recurrence in absence of antiarrhythmic drugs. The cost of RF ablation was calculated in the year 2001 euros on the basis of resource use. The mean cost of pharmacologic treatment prior to ablation was 1,590 euros/patient per year. The initial cost of RF ablation for PAF was 4,715 euros, then 445 euros/year. After 5 years, the cost of RF ablation was below that of ongoing medical management, and continued to diverge thereafter. RF catheter ablation may be a cost-effective alternative to long-term drug therapy in patients with symptomatic, drug refractory PAF. (PACE 2003; 26[Pt. II]:292–294)