Is inducibility of atrial fibrillation after radio frequency ablation really a relevant prognostic factor?

Eur Heart J. 2006 Nov;27(21):2553-9. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehl307. Epub 2006 Oct 12.


Aims: The study was intended to assess the prognostic value of inducibility of atrial fibrillation (AF) after radio frequency ablation.

Methods and results: Two hundred and thirty four patients with drug-resistant paroxysmal (n=165) or persistent AF (n=69) underwent either Lasso-guided segmental pulmonary vein isolation (n=83) or CARTO-guided left atrial circumferential ablation (n=151). After ablation, two attempts to induce AF (>1 min) by decremental coronary sinus stimulation were performed. Patients were followed for at least 6 months (median: 12.7 months). At 6 months of follow-up, 67% of patients with paroxysmal and 48% of patients with persistent AF were AF-free. Inducibility of AF was a significant predictor of AF recurrence in univariate [hazard ratio (HR)=2.32, P<0.001] and multivariable (HR=2.19, P<0.001) Cox regression analyses. The prognostic value of inducibility was present in both patients with paroxysmal (HR=2.38, P=0.001) and persistent AF (HR=1.91, P=0.034) and did not significantly differ between both ablation techniques. The sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values of the AF induction test to predict the 6-month ablation outcome were 46.7, 75, 53.8, and 69.2%, respectively.

Conclusion: Inducibility of AF after ablation is a significant predictor of recurrent AF. However, owing to the low diagnostic accuracy of the AF induction test, non-inducibility does not qualify as reliable procedural endpoint.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Veins / surgery*
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Treatment Outcome