What is the success rate of ablation of atrial fibrillation (Afib) (AF) and who are potential candidates?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with paroxysmal AF in whom antiarrhythmic drug therapy does not elicit a response are potential candidates for ablation of AF. The threshold for catheter ablation has fallen over the years and is likely to continue to fall. Ablation of persistent AF is more complex and yields lower success rates. Therefore, RFA is generally considered only if antiarrhythmic drugs fail in patients with persistent AF who remain severely symptomatic despite adequate ventricular rate control. [135]

The success rate of catheter ablation in the treatment of AF varies depending on the type and duration of AF (ie, paroxysmal vs persistent), structural remodeling of the heart, and the technique and expertise of the cardiac electrophysiologist, but it usually ranges from 60-80% over 1-2 years of follow-up.


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