“sinus rhythm was achieved in 58% of atrial fibrillation patients after a single procedure, 8% of whom were on antiarrhythmic medications, and in 88% of patients after multiple procedures…”
Is it me or does an average failure rate of 88% for atrial fibrillation (a-fib) patients undergoing catheter ablation procedures sould like a bad deal? To add insult to injury, those a-fib patients who do have a successful outcome from their catheter ablation have more than a 40% risk of recurrence of their a-fib sometime during the next 10 years.
I developed chronic a-fib in late 2010. Atrial fibrillation comes with a well-documented increased risk of stroke. And to be honest, it feels really strange having my heart rhythm jumping around all over the place.
My ejection fraction dropped to 40-45% and I did experience heavier breathing on occasion though I was able to exercise as I always had.
Being a cancer survivor since 1994 has taught me to put most every health decision into a pro/con, risk versus benefit scenario. In the case of my a-fib, the benefit is a higher quality of life and a normal risk of stoke. The risk, or I should say the cost of fixing my a-fib is cathater ablation that costs 000’s of dollars every time the procedure is done regardless of the outcome. And regardless of how long a successful procedure lasts.
I chose not to undergo drug therapy to fix my a-fib, nor did I undergo catheter ablation therapy. I have been living with chronic a-fib since late 2010 and my ejection fraction is still 40-45%.
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“Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation occurs when a rapid, erratic heart rate begins suddenly and then stops on its own within 7 days. It is also known as intermittent A-fib and often lasts for less than 24 hours.
“More than 40% of patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation had recurrence within 10 years after single-procedure pulmonary vein isolation, according findings published in HeartRhythm…
The researchers analyzed 176 retrospectively enrolled patients with drug-refractory symptomatic paroxysmal AF who underwent electroanatomical-guided pulmonary vein isolation (mean age, 51 years; 131 men). Ten-year follow-up was completed through medical records or telephone interviews.
According to the researchers, sinus rhythm was achieved in 58% of patients after a single procedure, 8% of whom were on antiarrhythmic medications, and in 88% of patients after multiple procedures, 10% of whom were on antiarrhythmic medications…
Left atrium diameter (OR = 1.067; 95% CI, 1.009-1.127) was a predictor of atrial tachyarrhythmia after one ablation procedure, with those who had enlarged left atrial diameters having more atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrences…”
“Background— Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) naturally progresses toward chronic AF at an estimated rate of 15% to 30% over a 1- to 3-year period. Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation is increasingly performed for the treatment of drug-refractory paroxysmal AF. The long-term data on clinical outcome after circumferential PV isolation are limited…
Conclusion—In patients with paroxysmal AF and normal left ventricular function, circumferential PV isolation results in stable sinus rhythm in the majority of patients, and low incidence of chronic AF was observed after ablation during up to 5 years of follow-up…”