Updated National Multicenter Registry on Procedural Safety of Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation


  • M. Grimaldi reports patent ownership of an ablation catheter for Biosense Webster. C. Tondo reports lectures fees from Medtronic Inc. and St. Jude Medical, and serving as an advisory board member of Medtronic. S. Themistoclakis and F. Solimene report serving as consultant/advisory board members of Biosense Webster. Other authors: No disclosures.

Address for correspondence: Emanuele Bertaglia, M.D., Clinica Cardiologica, Dipartimento di Scienze Cardiologiche, Toraciche e Vascolari, Università degli Studi di Padova, Via Ca'Rossa, 35 30173 Venezia, Italy. Fax: ++390498212309; E-mail: bertagliaferro@alice.it

Safety of Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation


Despite catheter ablation (CA) becoming an accepted treatment option for symptomatic, drug-resistant atrial fibrillation (AF), safety of this procedure continues to be cause for concern. Aim of the present multicenter registry was to assess the incidence of early CA complications and detect their predictors in a contemporary, unselected AF population

Methods and Results

From January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, data from 2,323 consecutive patients who underwent CA (median age 60 [52–67]; 72.3% male) for AF in 29 Italian centers were collected. All major complications occurring to the patient from admission to 30th postprocedural day were recorded. No procedure-related death was observed. Major complications occurred in 94 patients (4.0%): 50 patients (2.2%) suffered vascular access complications; 12 patients (0.5%) developed cardiac tamponade; 14 patients (0.6%) presented with pericarditis; 5 patients (0.2%) had transient ischemic attack; 4 patients had stroke; 3 patients (0.1%) had phrenic nerve paralysis; 3 patients (0.1%) had hemothorax. Other isolated but serious adverse events were documented in 3 patients (0.1%). Female gender (OR 2.643; 95% CI 1.686–4.143; P < 0.0001) and longer procedural duration (OR 2.195; 95% CI 1.388–3.473; P < 0.001) independently predicted a higher risk of complications.


Major complications occurred in 4.0% of the CA procedures for AF, with vascular access complications being the most frequent events.