The incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in congenital heart disease (CHD) adults has increased in the past decades due to a longer life expectancy of this population where the subjects are exposed to cardiac overflow, overpressure and structural changes for years.
The literature regarding AF ablation in repaired CHD adults emphasizes the importance of intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) to perform the transseptal puncture and the ablation procedure in the left atrium (LA), both effectively and safely. In small case control studies, where the predominant congenital cardiomyopathy was the atrial septal defect, the most common strategy for ablation was antral isolation of the pulmonary veins showing results, at one year follow-up, similar to those in the general population.
The positive results of AF ablation so far, in this specific population, widen the range of therapeutic options for a group of patients whose only chance has been pharmacological treatment, which has proved to be inefficacious in most of the cases and not free from adverse events.
Credits: Marta Acena MD; Ignasi Anguera MD PhD; Paolo D. Dallaglio MD; Marcos Rodriguez MD; Xavier Sabaté MD PhD