Impact of Early Versus Delayed Atrial Fibrillation Catheter Ablation on Atrial Arrhythmia Recurrences.

Jonathan M Kalman; Ahmed M Al-Kaisey; Ramanathan Parameswaran; Joshua Hawson; Robert D Anderson; Michael Lim; David Chieng; Stephen A Joseph; Alex McLellan; Joseph B Morton; Paul B Sparks; Geoffrey Lee; Prashanthan Sanders; Peter M Kistler
Catheter ablation is an effective strategy in atrial fibrillation (AF). However, its timing in the course of management remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine if an early versus delayed AF ablation strategy is associated with differences in arrhythmia outcomes during 12-month follow-up.One hundred patients with symptomatic AF referred to a tertiary centre for management were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to either an early ablation strategy (within 1 month of recruitment) or a delayed ablation strategy (optimised medical therapy followed by catheter ablation at 12 months post recruitment). The primary endpoint was atrial arrhythmia free survival at 12 months post ablation. Secondary outcomes included: (i) AF burden, (ii) AF burden by AF phenotype, and (iii) antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) use at 12 months. Overall, 89 patients completed the study protocol (Early vs Delayed: 48 vs 41). Mean age was 59 ± 12.9 years (29% women). Pulmonary vein isolation was achieved in 100% of patients. At 12 months, 56.3% of patients in the early ablation group were free from recurrent arrhythmia, compared with 58.6% in the delayed ablation group (HR 1.12, 95% CI 0.59-2.13, P = 0.7). All secondary outcomes showed no significant difference including median AF burden (Early vs Delayed: 0% [IQR 3.2] vs 0% [5], p= 0.66), median AF burden amongst paroxysmal AF patients (0% [IQR 1.1] vs 0% [4.5], p= 0.78), or persistent AF patients (0% [IQR 22.8] vs 0% [5.6], p=0.45) or AAD use (33% vs 37%, p = 0.8).Compared to an early ablation strategy, delaying AF ablation by 12 months for AAD management did not result in reduced ablation efficacy.
ISSN 1522-9645
Published 16 Apr 2023
DOI 10.1093/eurheartj/ehad247
Type Journal Article