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Articles by F. E Marchlinski
Total Records ( 2 ) for F. E Marchlinski
  J. F Roux , E Zado , D. J Callans , F Garcia , D Lin , F. E Marchlinski , R Bala , S Dixit , M Riley , A. M Russo , M. D Hutchinson , J Cooper , R Verdino , V Patel , P. S Joy and E. P. Gerstenfeld

Background— Atrial arrhythmias are common early after atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. We hypothesized that empirical antiarrhythmic drug (AAD) therapy for 6 weeks after AF ablation would reduce the occurrence of atrial arrhythmias.

Methods and Results— We randomized consecutive patients with paroxysmal AF undergoing ablation to empirical antiarrhythmic therapy (AAD group) or no antiarrhythmic therapy (no-AAD group) for the first 6 weeks after ablation. In the no-AAD group, only atrioventricular nodal blocking agents were prescribed. All patients wore a transtelephonic monitor for 4 weeks after discharge and were reevaluated at 6 weeks. The primary end point of the study was a composite of (1) atrial arrhythmias lasting more than 24 hours; (2) atrial arrhythmias associated with severe symptoms requiring hospital admission, cardioversion, or initiation/change of antiarrhythmic drug therapy; and (3) intolerance to antiarrhythmic agent requiring drug cessation. Of 110 enrolled patients (age 55±9 years, 71% male), 53 were randomized to AAD and 57 to no-AAD. There was no difference in baseline characteristics between groups. During the 6 weeks after ablation, fewer patients reached the primary end point in the AAD compared with the no-AAD group (19% versus 42%; P=0.005). There remained fewer events in the AAD group (13% versus 28%; P=0.05) when only end points of AF >24 hours, arrhythmia-related hospitalization, or electrical cardioversion were compared.

Conclusions— AAD treatment during the first 6 weeks after AF ablation is well tolerated and reduces the incidence of clinically significant atrial arrhythmias and need for cardioversion/hospitalization for arrhythmia management.

  W. S Tzou , F. E Marchlinski , E. S Zado , D Lin , S Dixit , D. J Callans , J. M Cooper , R Bala , F Garcia , M. D Hutchinson , M. P Riley , R Verdino and E. P. Gerstenfeld

Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is increasingly used for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), but few reports exist regarding long-term success. We determined 5-year outcomes of PVI among patients with freedom from AF off antiarrhythmic drugs (AAD) for 1 year after PVI.

Methods and Results—

Consecutive patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF who underwent PVI at the University of Pennsylvania from 2000 to 2003 and were free from AF 1 year after ablation were included. Proximal isolation of PVs and non-PV triggers of AF was performed. Long-term ablation success, defined as freedom from AF off AAD after a single ablation procedure, was determined. All patients had transtelephonic monitoring at 3 to 6 months and 12 months and at least yearly contact thereafter. One hundred twenty-three patients were free of AF without AAD at 1 year. AF freedom off AAD was 85% at 3 years and 71% at 5 years, with an approximate 7% per year late recurrence rate after the first year. Patients with recurrent AF ≥5 years after index PVI were older, had larger left atrial size, more AF triggers and more likely had persistent AF. In multivariate analysis, persistent AF (odds ratio, 2.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.4 to 5.7, P=0.005) and age (odds ratio, 1.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 1.1, P=0.036) independently predicted long-term AF recurrence.


Among patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF and AF freedom 1 year after segmental PVI, the majority (71%) remained free of AF for up to 5 years, with an approximate late recurrence rate of 7% per year. Continued vigilance for recurrent AF after PV isolation is warranted, particularly in patients with persistent AF.

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