Atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation is less frequently performed in women when compared to men. There are conflicting data on the safety and efficacy of AF ablation in women. The objective of this study was to compare the clinical characteristics and outcomes in a contemporary cohort of men and women undergoing persistent AF ablation procedures.Methods and Results:
A total of 182 men and 53 women undergoing a first-ever persistent AF catheter ablation procedure in The Modified Ablation Guided by Ibutilide Use in Chronic Atrial Fibrillation (MAGIC-AF) trial were evaluated. Clinical and procedural characteristics were compared between each gender. The primary efficacy endpoint was the 1-year single procedure freedom from atrial arrhythmia off anti-arrhythmic drugs. Women undergoing catheter ablation procedures were older than men (P < 0.001). The duration of AF and associated co-morbidities were similar between both genders. Single procedure drug-free atrial arrhythmia recurrence occurred in 53% of the cohort with no difference based on gender (men = 54%, women = 53%; P = 1.0). Procedural (P = 0.04), fluoroscopic (P = 0.02), and ablation times (P = 0.003) were shorter in women compared to men. Periprocedural complications and postablation improvement in quality of life were similar between men and women.Conclusion:
Women undergoing a first-ever persistent AF ablation procedure were older but had similar clinical outcomes and complications when compared with men.