BACKGROUND: The characteristics of patients undergoing atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation and subsequent outcomes in community practice are not well described.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Using the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (ORBIT-AF), we investigated the prevalence and impact of catheter ablation of AF. Among 9935 patients enrolled, 5.3% had previous AF ablation. Patients with AF ablation were significantly younger, more frequently male, and had less anemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and previous myocardial infarction (P<0.05 for all analyses) than those without previous catheter ablation of AF. Ablated patients were more likely to have a family history of AF, obstructive sleep apnea, paroxysmal AF, and moderate-to-severe symptoms (P<0.0001 for all analyses). Patients with previous ablation were more often in sinus rhythm on entry into the registry (52% vs. 32%; P<0.0001). Despite previous ablation, 46% in the ablation group were still on antiarrhythmic therapy. Oral anticoagulation was prescribed in 75% of those with previous ablation versus 76% in those without previous ablation (P=0.5). The adjusted risk of death (hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52 to 1.18; P=0.2) and cardiovascular (CV) hospitalization (HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.26; P=0.5) were similar in both groups. Patients with incident AF ablation had higher risk of subsequent CV hospitalization than matched patients without incident ablation (HR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.24 to 2.26; P=0.0008).
CONCLUSIONS: In U.S. clinical practice, a minority of patients with AF are managed with catheter ablation. Subsequent to ablation, there were no significant differences in oral anticoagulation use or outcomes, including stroke/non-central nervous system embolism/transient ischemic attack or death.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01165710.
- atrial fibrillation
- catheter ablation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine