Atrial fibrillation (AF) increases the risk of atrioembolic stroke. However, the role of anticoagulation therapy (OAT) in preventing cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) after intracardiac echocardiography-guided pulmonary vein antrum isolation (ICE-PVAI) is still unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the incidence of CVA following the interruption of OAT 3 months after ICE-PVAI.
Between September 2002 and March 2004, 85 consecutive patients (72 men, mean age 62 +/- 7 years) underwent ICE-PVAI for symptomatic drug-refractory AF. Heart disease was present in 61 patients (72%) (left ventricular ejection fraction = 58 +/- 6%, LA diameter 44 +/- 6 mm). Eighty-five consecutive patients who underwent electrical cardioversion (EC) for AF, matched for age, sex and heart disease, served as a control group. After 3 months, OAT was stopped unless one of the following conditions was observed: (i) AF-recurrence; (ii) severe pulmonary vein stenosis; (iii) non-good atrial contractility on transesophageal echocardiography; or (iv) other indications for OAT.
In the study group, OAT was stopped after 3 months in 77 patients (90%) and no CVA occurred during the remaining follow-up (15 +/- 7 months). In the control group, 1 month after EC, OAT was stopped by the referring physician in 29 patients (34%). A stroke occurred in five patients (6%) (P = 0.09; mean P = 0.059) during follow-up. In two of these (2%), the stroke was fatal.
Stopping OAT 3 months after ICE-PVAI seems to be safe in patients without AF recurrences after the first 3 months following ablation. Further randomized-controlled studies are needed to confirm these preliminary data.
"Rossillo et al. studied patients after catheter ablation and stopped the anticoagulation therapy in patients that were without AF recurrences after the first 3 months following ablation. They could show that those patients had no cerebrovascular accidents within the follow-up (15 ± 7 months) . Another recent study could show that AF ablation patients had a significantly lower risk of stroke compared to AF patients who did not undergo ablation independent of the baseline CHADS score. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the major morbidity and health economic factors in Europe and often associated with several co-morbidities. This paper (1) underlines the importance of highly professional AF management utilising a multi-disciplinary expertise, especially considering the role of AF regarding the stroke risk and prevention, (2) demonstrates the consolidated position of CVD professionals and (3) emphasises those research aspects that could deepen the understanding of the emergence and the treatment of AF and therefore helps to provide a personalised preventive and more effective management of AF. Specialised calls are considered for that within the new European Programme 'Horizon 2020'.
EPMA Journal, The 09/2014; 5(1):15. DOI:10.1186/1878-5085-5-15
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Image integration is used in AF ablation procedures. To maximize the efficacy of image integration, it is essential to obtain good alignment between the electroanatomical map and the 3D image of the heart. In the present study, we compared an ICE-guided landmark registration with an ICE-guided focused endocardial surface registration.
In 20 patients, registration was based on posterior landmarks acquired under ICE guidance (group A); in another 20 matched patients, a new ICE-guided focused endocardial surface registration technique was used (group B). In these latter patients, a single landmark was acquired in the inferior part of the LIPV, and several surface points were recorded in the posterior area of the left PV antrum and around the antra of the right PVs. The mean ablation point-to-CT image distance was calculated in both groups. In group A, the mean landmark point-to-CT image distance was also calculated after adding the surface registration. The mean landmark point-to-CT image distance was 4.62 +/- 1.65 mm and increased to 7.66 +/- 2.44 mm when surface registration was added. The ablation point-to-CT image distance was significantly shorter in group B (1.73 +/- 0.29 mm vs 3 +/- 0.99 mm; P < 0.001).
This ICE-guided focused endocardial surface registration seems to be superior to landmark registration in achieving a better alignment between the CT/MR image and the electroanatomical map. The concurrent use of standard surface registration may result in rotation of the atrial chamber.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia. Medical treatment often fails to control symptoms.
To compare the benefits and harms of radiofrequency catheter ablation and medical therapy in adults with atrial fibrillation.
MEDLINE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (2000 to December 2008) were searched for English-language reports of studies in adults.
6 independent reviewers screened abstracts to identify longitudinal studies of adults with atrial fibrillation who underwent radiofrequency catheter ablation. Studies reported arrhythmia or other cardiovascular outcomes at least 6 months after ablation or any adverse events.
Data were extracted by 1 of 4 reviewers and were verified by a cardiac electrophysiologist. Study quality and overall strength of evidence for each question were rated by 2 independent reviewers; disagreements were resolved by consensus.
108 studies met eligibility criteria. Moderate strength of evidence (3 trials; n = 30 to 198) showed that radiofrequency ablation after a failed drug course was more likely than continuation of drug therapy alone to lead to maintained sinus rhythm. Low strength of evidence (4 trials [n = 30 to 137] and 1 retrospective study [n = 1171]) suggested that radiofrequency ablation improved quality of life, promoted avoidance of anticoagulation, and decreased readmission rates compared with medical treatment. Major adverse events occurred in fewer than 5% of patients in most of 84 studies.
Study follow-up was generally 12 months or less. Large heterogeneity of applied techniques and reporting of outcomes precluded many definitive conclusions. Reporting of adverse events was poor. Publication and selective reporting biases could not be ruled out. Studies with small samples and studies reported in a language other than English were excluded.
Radiofrequency catheter ablation is effective for up to 12 months of rhythm control when used as a second-line therapy for atrial fibrillation in relatively young patients with near-intact cardiac function. Longer studies that use primary end points of stroke and mortality are needed.
Annals of internal medicine 09/2009; 151(3):191-202. · 17.81 Impact Factor
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