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Keywords:

  • atrial fibrillation;
  • atrial tachycardia;
  • arrhythmia termination;
  • catheter ablation;
  • pulmonary vein isolation

Arrhythmia Termination and Long-Term Outcome

Background

The influence of procedural arrhythmia termination on long-term single-procedure clinical outcome in patients with non-paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) remains controversial.

Methods

An individualized stepwise ablation strategy was used in 200 consecutive patients with non-paroxysmal AF who underwent first-time radiofrequency catheter ablation, with pulmonary vein isolation and sinus rhythm (SR) restoration as the primary endpoints.

Results

SR was restored by ablation in 94 patients, including 32 with AF directly and 62 with intermediate atrial tachycardia (AT). Cardioversion was performed to restore SR in 106 patients, including 31 with intermediate AT, and 75 with sustained AF. During a mean follow-up of 50.0 ± 9.3 months, single-procedure success was achieved in 99 (49.5%) patients. There was a significant difference in long-term success between patients with SR restoration by ablation and by cardioversion (63.8% vs 36.8%; P < 0.001), but not between patients with AF termination by ablation and by cardioversion (53.6% vs 42.7%; P = 0.146). SR restoration by ablation (odds ratio = 3.032; 95% confidence interval = 1.703–5.398; P < 0.001) was the only predictor of single-procedure success by logistic regression analyses. In patients with intermediate AT (n = 93), AT termination by ablation was associated with a higher success rate than AT termination by cardioversion (62.9% vs 22.6%; P < 0.001).

Conclusions

SR restoration and AT termination by ablation were both associated with an improved long-term single-procedure clinical outcome in patients with non-paroxysmal AF.