Objectives: This study aimed to compare the risk of late recurrence in patients with and without early recurrence. Background: Early recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) or atrial tachycardia (AT) after radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) in AF patients is known to be a transient phenomenon. The theoretical basis of the blanking period is based on such observations. However, the clinical implications of early recurrence need further validation. Methods: Consecutive RFCA cases in a tertiary hospital were analyzed. Early recurrence was defined as any AT or AF event occurring within 90-days post-RFCA. Early recurrence as AT and AF were also analyzed separately. Results: A total of 3,120 patients underwent RFCA. Early recurrence occurred in 751 patients (24.1%). Patients who experienced early recurrence had a larger left atrium, worse hemodynamics in the left atrial appendage, and a higher prevalence of nonparoxysmal AF and heart failure. Among patients who experienced early recurrence, 69.6% of patients eventually had late recurrence. Early recurrence was associated with a 4.3- and 3.6-fold increase in the risk of late recurrence after single and multiple procedures, respectively. After multivariate adjustment, early recurrence was an independent risk factor for late recurrence with 3.6- and 2.8-fold increase in the risk of late recurrence after single and multiple procedures, respectively. Early recurrence AT had a lower risk of late recurrence compared with early recurrence AF. Conclusions: Early recurrence was a reliable predictor for late recurrence. The clinical significance of the blanking period in the current guidelines may need to be revisited.
- atrial fibrillation
- early recurrence
- late recurrence
- radiofrequency catheter ablation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)