Temporal trends in safety and complication rates of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation
J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation is increasingly common, but is associated with potential major complications. Technology, experience, and protocols have evolved significantly in recent times, and may have impacted procedural safety. We sought to compare AF ablation safety profiles, including complication rates and fluoroscopy times in a “modern” versus “historical” cohort. Methods and results: We evaluated consecutive patients undergoing AF ablation from a modern cohort (MC) from 2014 to 2015 and a historic cohort (HC) from 2009 to 2011 for complications. Major complications were categorized according to Heart Rhythm Society guidelines. We included 1,425 patients, 726 in the HC and 699 in the MC. The MC was older, had more OSA and less valvular AF. Fifty-two (3.5%) procedures suffered major complications across the cohorts, with significantly fewer in the MC (5.0% vs. 2.3%, P = 0.007). The largest reductions were seen in vascular, hemorrhagic, ischemic stroke, and perforation/tamponade related complications. Periprocedural antiplatelets drugs (aHR 2.1 [95 CI 1.1–3.9], P = 0.02) and force-sensing catheters (aHR 0.4 [95 CI 0.2–0.9], P = 0.03) were independently related to major complication rates. Direct oral anticoagulants and uninterrupted anticoagulation were not associated with complications. There was a decrease in both fluoroscopy (–17.4 minutes [95 CI 19.2–15.6], P < 0.0001) and radiofrequency ablation times (−561 seconds [95CI −750 to −371], P < 0.0001). Conclusions: The safety profile of AF ablation has improved significantly in less than a decade.
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School of Medicine