Background: Atrial fibrillation (Afib) that occurs after a successful atrial flutter (AFL) ablation may negate the potential benefits of the ablation. Afib occurs more often when severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) is present. We hypothesized that even after a successful AFL ablation, the incidence of postablation Afib is increased when severe LVSD is present. Methods: Ninety consecutive patients with LVSD who underwent ablation for AFL at Montefiore Medical Center from August 2001 to January 2005 were classified according to the severity of LVSD. Group 1 (n = 36) consisted of patients with EF ≤ 35%, and group 2 (n = 54) consisted of patients with EF 36-55%. There were no statistically significant differences in baseline patient characteristics between the two groups. Results: During a mean follow up of 350 days, Afib occurred in 31% (n = 11; 8 with prior history of AFib) in group 1, and 7.4% (n = 4; all with prior history of Afib) in group 2. Cumulative probability of remaining Afib-free in group 1 versus group 2 was 75% versus 96% at 365 days, and 69% versus 91% at 600 days (P = 0.01). A prior history of Afib did not interact with EF when analyzed with a logistic regression analysis. Conclusion: After an AFL ablation, the incidence of Afib is increased, and the probability of remaining free of Afib is decreased, when severe LVSD is present, independent of a prior history of Afib. This finding may have implications for optimal patient selection for AFL ablation, and the use of adjunctive therapies.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Congestive heart failure
- Electrophysiology - clinical
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine