Background: The optimal ablation strategy for persistent atrial fibrillation (PsAF) remains to be defined. We sought to compare very long-term outcomes between linear ablation and electrogram (EGM)-guided ablation for PsAF. Methods: In a retrospective analysis, long-term arrhythmia-free survival compared between two propensity-score matched cohorts, one with pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) and linear ablation including roof/mitral isthmus line (LINE-group, n=52) and one with PVI and EGM-guided ablation (EGM-group; n=52). Results: Overall, 99% of patients underwent successful PVI. Complete block following linear ablation was achieved for 94% of roof lines and 81% of mitral lines (both lines blocked in 75%). AF termination by EGM-guided ablation was accomplished in 40% of patients. Non-PV foci were targeted in 7 (13%) in the LINE-group and 5 (10%) patients in the EGM-group (p=0.76). During 100±28 months of follow-up, linear ablation was associated with superior arrhythmia-free survival after the initial and last procedure (1.8±0.9 procedures) compared with EGM-group (Logrank test: P=0.0001 and P=0.045, respectively). In multivariable analysis, longer AF duration and EGM-guided ablation remained as independent predictors of AAs recurrence. Conclusions: Linear ablation is a more effective complementary technique to PVI than EGM-guided ablation for PsAF ablation.
Introduction: The impact of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) on cardiovascular events and mortality is controversial. We investigated the impact of sinus rhythm maintenance on major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events after AF ablation from a Japanese multicenter cohort of AF ablation. Methods and Results: We investigated 2737 consecutive patients (25.6% female, mean age 63.4 ± 10.3 years) who underwent a first catheter ablation for AF from the Atrial Fibrillation registry to Follow the long-teRm Outcomes and use of aNTIcoagulants aftER Ablation (AF Frontier Ablation Registry). The primary endpoint was a composite of stroke, transient ischemic attack, cardiovascular events, and all-cause death. During a mean follow-up of 25.2 months, 2070 (75.6%) patients were free from AF after catheter ablation, and the primary composite endpoint occurred in 122 (4.5%) patients. The AF nonrecurrence group had a significantly lower incidence of the primary endpoint (1.7 per 100 person-years) compared with the AF recurrence group (3.2 per 100 person-years; P = 0.001). The multivariate analysis revealed that freedom from AF (hazard ratio 0.57; 95% confidence interval 0.39–0.83; P = 0.003) was independently associated with the incidence of the composite event.¬¬ Conclusion: In the multicenter cohort of AF ablation, sinus rhythm maintenance after catheter ablation was independently associated with lower rates of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events.