Treatment success and its predictors as well as the complications of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation in a high-volume centre

Anna Numminen, Tero Penttilä, Olli Arola, Jaakko Inkovaara, Niku Oksala, Heikki Mäkynen, Jussi Hernesniemi

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Purpose: Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) is a standard procedure for maintaining sinus rhythm. The aim of this study was to evaluate treatment success and its predictors and to provide quality control data on complications and redo operations in a centre with an initially a low but currently high annual volume. Methods: Data on patients (n = 1,253) treated with catheter ablation for AF in Tays Heart Hospital between January 2010 and May 2018 was evaluated (n = 1178 ablation-naïve patients and n = 1514 AF ablations). Comprehensive data on patient characteristics, treatment results, redo operations and complications were collected. Treatment success (maintenance of sinus rhythm at 1 year) was evaluated among patients residing within the hospital district (45% of the entire study population). Results: Treatment success was observed in approximately 62.9% of the ablation-naïve patients. Preoperative predictors of treatment success were paroxysmal AF type, previous use of antiarrhythmic drugs, left atrium diameter and age. The experience at the centre did not associate with the 1-year outcome. A relapse during the first 3-month blanking period was associated with a nine-fold risk of failure at 1 year (unadjusted OR 9.1, 95% CI 5.5–15.1, p < 0.001). The major complication rate was 4.5% (68/1514) with no deaths. Ten percent of the patients needed a redo procedure within the first year. Conclusions: Patient-related factors are the most significant predictors of treatment success. A relapse during a 3-month blanking period is associated with a very high risk of failure at 1 year.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Early online date31 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Complications
  • Predictors
  • Pulmonary vein isolation
  • Redo

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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