Perioperative Outcomes and Safety of Atrial Fibrillation Catheter Ablation in Octogenarians: A Retrospective Study and Review of the Benefits of Rhythm Control

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Objectives: Catheter ablation for rhythm control has emerged as a successful therapeutic option for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), though it has not been well studied in octogenarians. This study evaluates its safety in octogenarians in a community hospital and reviews the benefits of rhythm control. Methods: Among 1,592 patients undergoing AF ablation, 84 octogenarian were identified. The primary outcome was normal sinus rhythm (NSR) on electrocardiogram at discharge. Secondary outcomes were periprocedural complications and markers and risks of reablation compared to younger cohorts. Results: An NSR on discharge occurred in 83 patients. Three patients required pacing for symptomatic sinus bradycardia, complete heart block, and symptomatic junctional bradycardia, respectively. Reablation for recurrent AF occurred in 23 octogenarians. Using the octogenarians as reference, the relative risk (RR) of 1 reablation was not significantly different among the age groups 70-79, 60-69, and <60 years. The RR of 2 reablations was greater in the octogenarian group (RR 0.26 [95% CI 0.09-0.71, p = 0.008], 0.42 [95% CI 0.17-1.04, p = 0.06], and 0.27 [95% CI 0.1-0.75, p = 0.01], respectively). Coronary artery disease (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.02-0.68, p = 0.026) and percutaneous coronary intervention (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.02-0.63, p = 0.021) were markers for reablation. Conclusion: AF catheter ablation achieved an NSR with minimal periprocedural complications. The benefits of rhythm control should be considered in treatment.

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