Follow-up Treatment After Failed Ablation: Second Ablation or Antiarrhythmic Drugs?
Researcher Evgeny Pokushalov asked:
If A-Fib recurs after a patient’s initial catheter ablation procedure, which is the better follow-up treatment? A second catheter ablation or taking antiarrhythmic meds?
In this study, 154 paroxysmal A-Fib patients who had a failed ablation were divided into two groups. The first group had a second ablation. The second group was put on antiarrhythmic drug therapy. The two groups were followed for three years, then compared.
Three-Year Study Results
At the end of the follow-up period, 58% of patients who had a second ablation (group 1), were A-Fib free and without use of antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs); 4% of this group had progressed to persistent A-Fib.
Only 12% of those on antiarrhythmic drug therapy (group 2) were A-Fib free; 23% of this group had progressed to persistent A-Fib.