Prospective assessment of short- and long-term quality of life after ablation for atrial fibrillation

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2012 Feb;23(2):121-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2011.02165.x. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Background: This study prospectively assesses different aspects of short- and long-term quality of life (QoL) after catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF). An analysis of 7 validated generic and tailored questionnaires was performed with regard to the relation of QoL to ablation success.

Methods: The study included 133 patients (74% men, age 57±10) who underwent pulmonary vein isolation ± linear or electrogram-guided substrate modification for AF. QoL was quantitatively assessed at baseline, 3 months after ablation and at a median of 4.3 ± 0.5 years after ablation by the AF severity scale (AFSS), AF symptom checklist (AFSC), WHO-5-Well-Being-Index (WHO), Major Depression Inventory (MDI), Sleep and Vegetative disorder (SV), Vital Exhaustion (VE), and Illness intrusiveness (Ii).

Results: QoL was improved significantly 3 months after ablation in all patients (regardless of ablation success or AF type) and stayed significantly improved after a median of 4.3±0.5 years (AFSS, AFSC, WHO, MDI, VE, PE (all P < 0.001), and SV (P = 0.007)). Patients who had a successful ablation improved significantly more than patients with an unsuccessful ablation in the AFSS, AFSC, and MDI questionnaire (delta change from baseline to long-term follow-up P = <0.001, P = <0.001, and P = 0.039, respectively).

Conclusion: Overall, all patients significantly improved their QoL irrespective of the AF type in all questionnaires 3 months and 4 years after ablation. The increase in QoL was significantly greater in patients who underwent a successful ablation than patients with unsuccessful ablation in the AFSS, AFSC, and MDI questionnaire.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / psychology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation / trends*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome