Purpose: The identification of sick sinus syndrome (SSS) in patients with atrial flutter (AFL) is difficult before the termination of AFL. This study investigated the patient characteristics used in predicting a high risk of SSS after AFL ablation. Materials and Methods: Out of 339 consecutive patients who had undergone radiofrequency ablation for AFL from 1991 to 2012, 27 (8%) had SSS (SSS group). We compared the clinical characteristics of patients with and without SSS (n=312, no-SSS group). Results: The SSS group was more likely to have a lower body mass index (SSS: 22.5±3.2; no-SSS: 24.0±3.0 kg/m2; p=0.02), a history of atrial septal defects (ASD; SSS: 19%; no-SSS: 6%; p=0.01), a history of coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG; SSS: 11%; no-SSS: 2%; p=0.002), and a longer flutter cycle length (CL; SSS: 262.3±39.2; no-SSS: 243.0±40; p=0.02) than the no-SSS group. In multivariate analysis, a history of ASD [odds ratio (OR) 3.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2‒11.4, p=0.02] and CABG (7.1, 95% CI 1.5‒32.8, p=0.01) as well as longer flutter CL (1.1, 95% CI 1.0‒1.2, p=0.04) were independent risk factors for SSS. Conclusion: A history of ASD and CABG as well as longer flutter CL increased the risk of SSS after AFL ablation. While half of the patients with SSS after AFL ablation experienced transient SSS, heart failure was associated with irreversible SSS.
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