BACKGROUND: Sleep fragmentation and sleep apnea are common in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We investigated the impact of radio-frequency catheter ablation (RFCA) on sleep quality in patients with paroxysmal AF and the effect of a change in sleep quality on recurrence of AF. METHODS AND RESULTS: Of 445 patients who underwent RFCA for paroxysmal AF between October 2007 and January 2017, we analyzed 225 patients who had a 24-hour Holter test within 6 months before RFCA. Sleep quality was assessed by cardiopulmonary coupling analysis using 24-hour Holter data. We compared cardiopulmonary coupling parameters (high-frequency coupling, low-frequency coupling, very-low-frequency coupling) before and after RFCA. Six months after RFCA, the high-frequency coupling (marker of stable sleep) and very-low-frequency coupling (rapid eye movement/wake marker) was significantly increased (29.84%–36.15%; P<0.001; and 26.20%–28.76%; P=0.002, respectively) while low-frequency coupling (unstable sleep marker) was decreased (41.25%–32.13%; P<0.001). We divided patients into 3 tertiles according to sleep quality before RFCA, and the risk of AF recurrence in each group was compared. The second tertile was used as a reference; patients with unstable sleep (Tertile 3) had a significantly lower risk of AF recurrence (hazard ratio [HR], 0.32; 95% CI, 0.12–0.83 for high-frequency coupling; and HR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.09–0.58 for low-frequency coupling). CONCLUSIONS: Sleep quality improved after RFCA in patients with paroxysmal AF. The recurrence rate was significantly lower in patients who had unstable sleep before RFCA. These results suggest that RFCA can influence sleep quality, and sleep quality assessment before RFCA may provide a risk marker for recurrence after RFCA in patients with paroxysmal AF.
- 24-hour Holter study
- Atrial fibrillation
- Cardiopulmonary coupling analysis
- Sleep disorders
- Sleep quality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine