Radiofrequency ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation: Diagnosis-to-ablation time, markers of pathways of atrial remodeling, and outcomes

Ayman A. Hussein, Walid I. Saliba, Amr Barakat, Mohammed Bassiouny, Mohammed Chamsi-Pasha, Rasha Al-Bawardy, Ali Hakim, Khaldoun Tarakji, Bryan Baranowski, Daniel Cantillon, Thomas Dresing, Patrick Tchou, David O. Martin, Niraj Varma, Mandeep Bhargava, Thomas Callahan, Mark Niebauer, Mohamed Kanj, Mina Chung, Andrea NataleBruce D. Lindsay, Oussama M. Wazni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background-Various ablation strategies of persistent atrial fibrillation (PersAF) have had disappointing outcomes, despite concerted clinical and research efforts, which could reflect progressive atrial fibrillation-related atrial remodeling. Methods and Results-Two-year outcomes were assessed in 1241 consecutive patients undergoing first-time ablation of PersAF (2005-2012). The time intervals between the first diagnosis of PersAF and the ablation procedures were determined. Patients had echocardiograms and measures of B-type natriuretic peptide and C-reactive protein before the procedures. The median diagnosis-to-ablation time was 3 years (25th-75th percentiles 1-6.5). With longer diagnosis-to-ablation time (based on quartiles), there was a significant increase in recurrence rates in addition to an increase in B-type natriuretic peptide levels (P=0.01), C-reactive protein levels (P<0.0001), and left atrial size (P=0.03). The arrhythmia recurrence rates over 2 years were 33.6%, 52.6%, 57.1%, and 54.6% in the first, second, third, and fourth quartiles, respectively (Pcategorical<0.0001). In Cox Proportional Hazard analyses, B-type natriuretic peptide levels, C-reactive protein levels, and left atrial size were associated with arrhythmia recurrence. The diagnosis-to-ablation time had the strongest association with the ablation outcomes which persisted in multivariable Cox analyzes (hazard ratio for recurrence per +1Log diagnosis-to-ablation time 1.27, 95% confidence interval 1.14-1.43; P<0.0001; hazard ratio fourth versus first quartile 2.44, 95% confidence interval 1.68-3.65; Pcategorical<0.0001). Conclusions-In patients with PersAF undergoing ablation, the time interval between the first diagnosis of PersAF and the catheter ablation procedure had a strong association with the ablation outcomes, such as shorter diagnosis-to-ablation times were associated with better outcomes and in direct association with markers of atrial remodeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere003669
JournalCirculation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Outcome
  • Outcomes research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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