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Does zero atrial fibrillation burden after atrial fibrillation ablation mean that patients are free of symptoms?
Department of Cardiology, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden.
Department of Cardiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.
Örebro University Hospital, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Department of Cardiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.
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2017 (English)In: Europace, Supplements, ISSN 1099-6044, E-ISSN 1749-365X, Vol. 19, no Duppl. 3, p. iii264-iii264, article id 1361Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Success of atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation is usually defined as freedom of AF, although symptomatic relief often is what the patient’s desire. After ablation the proportion of ‘silent’ AF increases and success based on symptomatic AF recurrence may be overestimated.

Purpose: To investigate the symptomatology of patients who are truly free of AF after ablation.

Methods: In 57 patients the symptomatology after AF ablation was assessed as perceived by the patient using a validated AF-specific symptom questionnaire (AF6) and the overall treatment effect (OTE), and as classified by the physician using the EHRA score, at baseline, 6, 12 and 24 months. The cardiac rhythm was continuously monitored by an implantable loop recorder throughout the 2-year follow-up.

Results: At 6, 12 and 24 months 14 (26%), 23 (43%) and 23 (43%) patients had an AF burden 0% during the past 6 months, and 13 of them had an AF burden 0% during the entire 2 year follow-up. All patients reported ‘OTE better’ at all time-points. All patients were also classified into EHRA I at 6 months. Being completely free of AF for six months periods did not mean complete freedom of symptoms, but the median AF6 sum score was consistently low with a narrowing IQR over time, 0 (IQR 0-27), 0.5 (IQR 0-7) and 0 (IQR 0-11) at 6, 12 and 24 months. At 6 months 8/14 patients (57%) scored AF6=0, the others 6, 11, 26, 28, 30 and 46 points. At 12 months 13/23 patients (56%) scored AF6=0, the others 1,1,3,3,5,7,7,7,14 and 22 points. At 24 months 12/23 (52%) patients scored AF6=0, the others 1, 1, 2, 4, 9, 11, 17, 20, 24, 32 and 42 points. Among the AF6 items, ‘worry/anxiety due to AF’ was the most common, while ‘tiredness due to AF’ was the highest scoring item. In the patients with AF burden 0% during the entire 2-year follow-up all patients were improved in OTE and all patients were classified into EHRA class I at all times after ablation and the median AF6 sum score was 4 (IQR0-28), 0.5 (IQR 0-8) and 1 (0-5) at 6, 12 and 24 months after ablation.

Conclusions: Sudden elimination of AF by ablation does not automatically eliminate all symptoms that the patients associated with AF, but all patients felt better and were classified in EHRA class I at all time-points. Less than a half of the patients at any time-point scored some symptoms, but the symptoms gradually decreased over time, especially between 6 and 12 months.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2017. Vol. 19, no Duppl. 3, p. iii264-iii264, article id 1361
National Category
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69420DOI: 10.1093/ehjci/eux157.001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-69420DiVA, id: diva2:1254227
Conference
EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2017, Vienna, Austria, June 18-21, 2018
Note

Available from: 2018-10-08 Created: 2018-10-08 Last updated: 2018-10-08Bibliographically approved

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