Efficacy and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Before 45 Years of Age
P Leong Sit,
D. J Callans,
M. P Riley,
M. D Hutchinson,
E. P Gerstenfeld
F. E. Marchlinski
Young patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) tend to be more symptomatic and less willing to take long-term medications, yet catheter ablation remains recommended as second-line therapy for AF regardless of age. This study seeks to characterize the effectiveness and risk of AF ablation in the young.
Methods and Results—
Consecutive (n=1548) patients who underwent 2038 AF ablation procedures were included. Major procedural complications and efficacy were analyzed on the basis of age at the initial procedure: <45 years (group 1), 45 to 54 years (group 2), 55 to 64 years (group 3), and ≥65 years (group 4). AF control was defined as no or rare AF on or off antiarrhythmic drugs. The primary outcome of AF control was similar in all groups; it was achieved in 87% in group 1, 88% in group 2, 88% in group 3, and 82% in group 4 (P=0.06). However, more group 1 patients demonstrated freedom from AF off antiarrhythmic drugs (76%) compared with group 2 at 68%, group 3 at 65%, and group 4 at 53% (P<0.001). There were no major complications in group 1, 10 (1.7%) in group 2, 14 (1.4%) in group 3, and 10 (2.6%) in group 4 (P=0.01).
In patients younger than 45 years, there is a lower major complication rate and a comparable efficacy rate, with a greater chance of being AF free without antiarrhythmic drugs. These findings suggest that it may be appropriate to consider ablative therapy as first-line therapy in this age group.