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Two-year follow-up in atrial fibrillation patients referred for catheter ablation of the atrioventricular node

Introduction: At the present time there is still concern regarding the long-term deleterious effects of right ventricular apical pacing in patients referred for auriculoventricular node ablation (AVNA). Furthermore, scarce information is available regarding differences in the follow up according to the baseline cardiopathy and predictors associated with a worse outcome. Methods: 104 consecutives patients referred for AVNA were retrospectively analyzed. Patients included were seen in the outpatient clinic at 6, 12 and 24 months post ablation (mean follow-up 24 ± 2 months). An echocardiogram two years after the procedure was obtained in 68 patients. Three categories were done according to the change in the left ventricular function (LVEF) (increase, decrease or absence of change, defined as less than 10% variation in either LVEF). Results: After two years of follow up there was a decrease in the rate of hospital admission (from 0.9 admission/year to 0.35, p<0.001), an increase in the functional status in at least one NYHA class in 58 patients, and an increase in the global LVEF (from 48.9% to 54,1%; p<0.001). Valvular replacement and LVEF less than 50% were independently associated with a decrease in the LVEF. Regarding safety issues, one patient who presented a polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (Torsade de pointes) 60 minutes after the ablation. Conclusions: AVNA results in a decrease in hospital admission rates and an improvement in functional status. Baseline LVEF < 50% and mitral valvulopathy were multivariate predictor of LVEF decline. Finally, although it is a safe procedure and rate of complications were low, there is a potential risk of fatal complications. 

Credits: Moisés Rodríguez-Mañero; Claudia Pujol Salvador; Luis Martínez-Sande; Carlo de Asmundis; Gian-Battista Chierchia; Alfonso Macías Gallego; Xulio A. Fernández-López; Juan José Gavira-Gómez; Javier García-Seara; Naira Calvo; Pedro Brugada; José Ramón González-Juanatey; Ignacio García-Bolao

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