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Influence of age and gender on complications of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation


Background. Despite catheter ablation (CA) has become an accepted treatment option for symptomatic, drug-resistant atrial fibrillation (AF), safety of this procedure continues to be cause for concern.

Objective. Aim of the present multicenter study was to assess the influence of age and gender on incidence and severity of early CA complications.

Methods. From January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, data from 2,323 consecutive patients who underwent CA (mean age 59.1+10.9; 72.3% male) for AF in 29 Italian centres were collected. All complications occurring to the patients from admission to 30th post-procedural day were recorded.

Results. Complications occurred in 94 patients (4.0%); of these 7 (0.30%) developed permanent sequelae. There was a significant trend toward a greater incidence of complications with increasing age-group. In particular, the incidence of complications was 35/1066 (3.3%) in patients < 60 year-old vs 59/1257 (4.7%) in those > 60 year-old (p=0.03). All 7 patients with permanent sequeale were older than 60. Females had a higher incidence of complications both among younger [13/231 (5.6%) vs 22/915 (2.5%), p=0.02] and older patients [32/405 (7.9%) vs 27/739 (3.5%) p=0.001]. In subjects older than 60, 5/405 (1.2%) females and 2/176 (0.3%) males (p=0.04) suffered from permanent sequelae.  

Conclusion: In patients younger than 60 year-old CA of AF appears safe with a very low incidence (3.1%) of complications and absence of permanent sequelae. Females are at higher risk in all age groups.  

Credits: Giuseppe Stabile; Emanuele Bertaglia; Carlo Pappone; Sakis Themistoclakis; Claudio Tondo; Alessandro Zorzi; Matteo Anselmino



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