Pre-procedural predictors of atrial fibrillation recurrence after circumferential pulmonary vein ablation

Antonio Berruezo, David Tamborero, Lluis Mont, Begoña Benito, Jose María Tolosana, Marta Sitges, Bárbara Vidal, Germán Arriagada, Francisco Méndez, Maria Matiello, Irma Molina, Josep Brugada
European Heart Journal 2007, 28 (7): 836-41

AIMS: The success rate of circumferential pulmonary vein ablation (CPVA) to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) ranges from 60 to 90%, depending on the series. The objective of the study was to identify predictors of AF recurrence after a standardized CPVA procedure.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A series of 148 consecutive patients undergoing CPVA for symptomatic paroxysmal (60.8%), persistent (23.6%), or permanent (15.5%) AF refractory to antiarrhythmic drugs were included in the study. CPVA with the creation of supplementary block lines along the posterior wall and mitral isthmus was performed and a minimum of 6 months follow-up completed in all patients. Structural heart disease was present in 19.6% and hypertension in 33.8% of patients. After 13.1 +/- 8.4 months follow-up, 73.6% of patients were free of AF recurrences after a mean of 1.18 +/- 0.45 procedures/patient (one procedure in 85.2%, two procedures in 14.8%, and three procedures in 2.7%). Univariable analysis showed that the risk of AF recurrence increases with age (HR 1.03; 95% CI 1.00-1.06, P = 0.031), with the presence of previous hypertension (HR 2.7; 95% CI 1.43-5.07, P = 0.002), and if AF is permanent (HR 2.23; 95% CI 1.08-4.59, P = 0.042). In addition, larger anteroposterior left atrial diameter (LAD) (HR 1.11; 95% CI 1.05-1.18, P = 0.001) and larger left ventricular end-systolic diameter (HR 1.07; 95% CI 1.00-1.15, P = 0.029) prior to the procedure were associated with AF recurrence after CPVA. Cox regression analysis showed that hypertension (OR = 2.8; 95% CI 1.5-5.4; P = 0.002) and LAD (OR = 1.1; 95% CI 1.05-1.19, P < 0.001) were independent predictors of AF recurrence. The mean predicted proportion of patients with AF recurrence after CPVA of the multivariable model showed a linear relationship with the increase in LAD prior to the procedure. The presence of hypertension further increased the mean predicted proportion of patients with AF recurrence at each LAD.

CONCLUSION: Hypertension and LAD are independent pre-procedural predictors of AF recurrence after CPVA to treat AF. These data may help in patient selection for AF ablation.

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