The present study analyzed the recurrence rate of idiopathic atrial fibrillation (AF) after elimination by radiofrequency ablation of the substrate for a regular tachycardia. Forty consecutive patients with idiopathic AF and a history of regular palpitations or documented regular tachyarrhythmias were prospectively included. Regular tachyarrhythmias were induced in 82.5% of patients: atrial flutter (42.4% of the inducible arrhythmias), atrial tachycardia (24.2%), atrioventricular (AV) nodal reentry (18.2%), AV reentry through a concealed accessory pathway (9.1%), and AV nodal reentry associated with right atrial tachycardia (6.1%). Dual AV node physiology with single or dual AV node echoes was demonstrated in 6.1% of patients without inducible arrhythmias. During follow-up (92 +/- 11 months), AF recurred in 19.2% of patients after successful radiofrequency ablation and in 69.2% after unsuccessful or not performed procedures (p <0.05). Left atrial diameter did not change after successful ablation but increased significantly in the population without elimination of the substrate (initial diameter 37.5 +/- 2 mm, final diameter 46.4 +/- 3.2 mm; p <0.05). In conclusion, the systematic search for the substrate of regular tachyarrhythmias followed by their elimination by catheter ablation reduces the recurrence of idiopathic AF in patients with a history of regular palpitations or documented regular tachyarrhythmias.