Most patients who receive catheter ablation treatment experience a long-term reduction in the number of episodes of arrhythmia and the severity of symptoms. Many achieve a permanent return to normal heart rhythm. Nevertheless, for persistent AF, the patient recurrence rate is not negligible: 41-56% after one procedure and 28-42% after two procedures.
The AF recurrence rate needs to be reduced because of the:
• Benefit/Risk profile. Even if considered relatively safe, cardiac ablation is related to cardiac intervention complications (life-threatening 1% with death 0.18%)
• Procedure repeatability. In order to achieve acceptable results in the long term, patients need to undergo several redo procedures (2-4 on average). Therefore, this lowers patient’s quality of life, and is costly for the healthcare system.
There is thus a clear incentive, in terms of patient well-being and healthcare costs, to better select the patients more likely to benefit from catheter ablation.