INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Recent observations suggest that patients with a previous failed catheter ablation have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence after subsequent thoracoscopic AF ablation. We assessed the risk of AF recurrence in patients with a previous failed catheter ablation undergoing thoracoscopic ablation.
METHODS: We included patients from 3 medical centers. To correct for potential heterogeneity, we performed propensity matching to compare AF freedom (freedom from any atrial tachyarrhythmia > 30 s during a 1-year follow-up). Left atrial appendage tissue was analyzed for collagen distribution.
RESULTS: A total of 705 patients were included, and 183 had a previous failed catheter ablation. These patients had fewer risk factors for AF recurrence than ablation naïve controls: smaller indexed left atrial volume (40.9 ± 12.5 vs 43.0 ± 12.5 mL/m2, P = .048), less congestive heart failure (1.5% vs 8.9%, P = .001), and less persistent AF (52.2% vs 60.3%, P = .067). However, AF history duration was longer in patients with a previous failed catheter ablation (6.5 [4-10.5] vs 4 [2-8] years; P < .001). In propensity matched analysis, patients with a failed catheter ablation were at a 68% higher AF recurrence risk (OR: 1.68 [1.20-2.15], P = .034). AF freedom was 61.1% in patients with a previous failed catheter ablation vs 72.5% in ablation naïve matched controls. On histology of the left atrial appendage (n = 198), patients with a failed catheter ablation had a higher density of collagen fibers.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a prior failed catheter ablation had fewer risk factors for AF recurrence but more frequently had AF recurrence after thoracoscopic AF ablation than ablation naïve patients. This may in part be explained by more progressed, subclinical, atrial fibrosis formation.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2022 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Catheter ablation
- Propensity score
- Thoracoscopic surgical ablation