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Early Recurrence of Atrial Tachyarrhythmias Following Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation


  • Financial Support: none.

  • Conflict of Interest: none.

Laurent Macle, M.D., Electrophysiology Service, Department of Cardiology, Montreal Heart Institute, 5000 Belanger Street East. Montreal, QC, Canada H1T 1C8. Fax: 514-593-2551; e-mail:


The use of blanking periods, the immediate period postablation during which transient tachyarrhythmia episodes are not considered recurrences, has been predicated on the assumption that not all early recurrences of atrial tachyarrhythmias (ERAT) will lead to later recurrences and, as such, does not necessarily represent treatment failure. While ERAT can be expected to occur in approximately 38% of patients within the first 3 months of atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, only half of these patients will manifest later recurrences. Clinical features related to the patient's history of AF, the index ablation procedure, and particularities of the ERAT can help identify patients at higher risk of later recurrence in whom aggressive attempts to control rhythm, including early cardioversion and reintervention, may be justified. (PACE 2012; 35:106–116)