Background: Persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) can change to paroxysmal AF after antiarrhythmic drug medication and cardioversion. We investigated whether electrical posterior box isolation (POBI) may improve rhythm outcome of catheter ablation in those patient groups. Methods: We prospectively randomized 114 patients with persistent AF to paroxysmal AF (men, 75%; 59.8±9.9 years old) to circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) alone group (n=57) and additional POBI group (n=57). Primary end point was AF recurrence after a single procedure, and secondary end points were recurrence pattern, cardioversion rate, and response to antiarrhythmic drugs. Results: After a mean follow-up of 23.8±10.2 months, the clinical recurrence rate did not significantly differ between the CPVI alone and additional POBI group (31.6% versus 28.1%; P=0.682; log-rank P=0.729). The recurrences as atrial tachycardias (5.3% versus 12.3%; P=0.134) and cardioversion rates (5.3% versus 10.5%; P=0.250) were not significantly different between the CPVI and POBI groups. At the final follow-up, sinus rhythm was maintained without antiarrhythmic drug in 52.6% of CPVI group and 59.6% of POBI group (P=0.450). No significant difference was found in major complication rates between the two groups (5.3% versus 1.8%; P=0.618), but the total ablation time was significantly longer in the POBI group (4187±952 versus 5337±1517 s; P<0.001). Conclusions: In patients with persistent AF converted to paroxysmal AF by antiarrhythmic drug, the addition of POBI to CPVI did not improve the rhythm outcome of catheter ablation or influence overall safety, while leading to longer ablation time. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT02176616.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)