AF 2018: New Report on the CASTLE AF Clinical Trial—Most Important Study for Patients

Most people who’ve had a successful catheter ablation can tell you how wonderful it feels to have a heart that beats normally again. Thanks to Dr. Marrouche and his colleagues, we now have hard data that a catheter ablation doesn’t just feel good but lets us live a healthier, longer life.

CASTLE-AF stands for Catheter Ablation versus Standard conventional Treatment in patients with LEft ventricular dysfunction and Atrial Fibrillation.

Dr. Nassir Marrouche & CASTLE AF Clinical Trial

At the 2018 AF Symposium, Dr. Nassir Marrouche presented results of the full CASTLE-AF study. (I reported briefly on initial findings last October (see CASTLE AF Study: Live Longer―Have a Catheter Ablation).

The 9-year, multicenter CASTLE-AF trial started in 2008 and focused on patients with A-Fib and systolic heart failure. The 398 participants were at 31 sites in 9 countries across Europe, Australia and the U.S.

Study participants had A-Fib and advanced heart failure (i.e., low ejection fraction less than 35%) and were randomized to receive either radiofrequency catheter ablation or conventional drug treatment. The median follow-up period was 37.8 months.

Results―Ablation Improves Quantity and Quality of Life

Dr. Marrouche listed key results of the CASTLE-AF Clinical Trial:

▪ Catheter ablation lowered the death rate by 47% vs conventional drug therapy..
▪ Even though 94% of the patients were taking Coumadin, the catheter ablation group’s stroke rate was ½ of the conventional drug treatment group.
▪ Heart failure hospital admissions improved immediatelycontinue reading Dr. Marrouche’s findings

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