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One-quarter of high risk patients denied anticoagulation after AF ablation
Date:2/18/2014

0% of patients had symptoms before the ablation, 55% had no symptoms afterwards.

Professor Brugada said: "In this survey of medium to high expertise centres the overall success rate of AF catheter ablation is relatively high and the overall complication rate is relatively low. The study protocol did not require discontinuation of antiarrhythmic therapy after the 3-month blanking period although it is considered good practice when there is no arrhythmia recurrence."

He added: "We found that protocols for antiarrhythmic therapy were followed more strictly in Northern Europe. Physicians did not give the medication unless the patient had a documented arrhythmia recurrence. It could be that in Southern Europe there is a tendency to give antiarrhythmic drugs if patients have symptoms, without requiring specific documentation of an arrhythmia."

Arrhythmia recurrences during the 3-month blanking period were the only predictor of failure 12 months after the procedure. Doctor Elena Arbelo, co author, also from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, said: "Patients who had an atrial arrhythmia during the first 3 months were more likely to have an arrhythmia after the blanking period. But an arrhythmia during the blanking period should not prompt an early re-ablation because 63% of these patients did not have a later arrhythmia. We should still wait for 3 months to assess the real result of the ablation."

Success of the procedure was consistent across European regions. Both success and complication rates were not influenced by the number of AF ablations the centres performed each year. Professor Brugada said: "These results were not surprising because all centres in the study had medium to high expertise and 50 procedures per year is probably above the cut-off point for quality. We are currently conducting the long term registry which includes all centres and we may find different results in the low volume centres."

The one year follow up
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Contact: Jackie Partarrieu
press@escardio.org
33-492-947-756
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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