Long-Term Clinical Efficacy and Risk of Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation in the Elderly

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Introduction

The number of elderly patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is increasing rapidly, and the safety and efficacy of catheter ablation in this demographic group has not been established.

Methods

Over a 7-year period we studied 1,165 consecutive patients undergoing 1,506 AF ablation procedures using a consistent ablation protocol that included proximal ostial pulmonary vein (PV) isolation and focal ablation of non-PV AF triggers. Outcome was analyzed for three distinct age groups: <65 years (group 1; n = 948 patients), 65–74 years (group 2; n = 185 patients), and ≥75 years (group 3; n = 32 patients) based on the age at the initial procedure.

Results

There was no significant difference in AF control (89% in group 1, 84% in group 2, and 86% in group 3, P = NS) during a mean follow-up of 27 months. Major complication rates were also comparable (1.6% in group 1, 1.7% in group 2, 2.9% in group 3, P = NS) between the three groups. There was no difference in the left atrial size, percentage with left ventricular ejection fraction <50%, or percentage with paroxysmal versus more persistent forms of atrial fibrillation. However, older patients were more likely to be women (20% in group 1, 34% in group 2, and 56% in group 3, P < 0.001) and have hypertension and/or structural heart disease (56% in group 1 vs 68% in group 2 vs 88% in group 3; P < 0.001). There was a strong trend demonstrating that older patients were less likely to undergo repeat ablation (26% vs 27% vs 9%) to achieve AF control and more likely to remain on antiarrhythmic drugs (20% vs 29% vs 37%; P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Elderly patients with AF undergoing catheter ablation therapy are represented by a higher proportion of women and have a higher incidence of hypertension/structural heart disease. To achieve a similar level of AF control, there appears to be no increased risk from the ablation procedure, but elderly patients are more likely to remain on antiarrhythmic drugs.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles