Ischemic stroke after radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients is a great challenge for electrophysiologists. We performed this retrospective study to evaluate clinical and echocardiographic characteristics associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke following RFCA. A total of 2,352 consecutive patients with AF who underwent first-time RFCA were analyzed. Among 10,023 patient*year follow up, ischemic stroke occurred in 49 patients (0.49% per year). Late recurrence after last RFCA was significantly associated with ischemic stroke (3.8% vs. 12.9%, p < 0.001). Old age (≥60 years old) (3.2% vs. 15.4%, p = 0.001), non-paroxysmal AF (hazard ratio = 1.91, p = 0.024), left atrium (LA) size ≥45.0 mm (6.6% vs. 11.7%, p < 0.001), E over E’ ≥10 (4.3% vs. 20.1%, p < 0.001), dense spontaneous echo contrast (SEC) (5.2% vs. 19.0%, p = 0.006), and decreased left atrial appendage (LAA) flow velocity (≤40 cm/sec) (4.1% vs. 10.8%, p < 0.001) were also associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke. The REVEEAL score derived from the risk factors identified in this study was superior to CHA 2 DS 2 -VASc score (p < 0.001) for the prediction of ischemic stroke. In conclusion, the risk factors for ischemic stroke in post-RFCA AF patients are not identical to RFCA naive AF patients and different approach to stratify the risk of ischemic stroke is needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas