Initial Findings From the National Cardiovascular Data Registry of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Procedures

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2023 Mar 7;81(9):867-878. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.11.060.


Background: The National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) AFib Ablation Registry was created to assess real-world prevalence, demographic characteristics, procedural management, and outcomes of patients undergoing atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation procedures.

Objectives: The goal of this study was to characterize the patient, hospital, and physician characteristics and in-hospital outcomes related to AF ablation in the first 5 years of the registry.

Methods: This paper describes the AFib Ablation Registry structure and governance, outcome assessment processes, data quality, and data collection processes. The characteristics of the patient population, hospitals, and in-hospital outcomes are also described.

Results: A total of 76,219 patients were included in the registry between January 2016 and December 2020 (mean age 65.5 ± 10.3 years, 65.2% male, 55.8% paroxysmal AF, mean CHA2DS2-VASc score 2.7 ± 1.6) treated by 708 physicians in 162 hospitals. Successful isolation of all pulmonary veins was achieved in 92.4% of patients. The prevalence of any complication during procedural admission was 2.50% and major complication was 0.9%, including significant bradycardia in 0.47%, heart failure in 0.47%, and pericardial effusion requiring intervention in 0.44%. Hospitalization >1 day occurred in 11.8% of patients, and in-hospital death was rare (n = 41 [0.05%]).

Conclusions: The NCDR AFib Ablation Registry is the largest multicenter, prospective cohort study of patients undergoing catheter ablation worldwide. Results in the first 5 years showed that successful pulmonary vein isolation is achieved in the majority of patients, with a low rate of complications. Future studies from the registry will assess practice trends, evaluate treatment patterns associated with different patient outcomes, and support development of evidence-based guidelines.

Keywords: National Cardiovascular Data Registry; atrial fibrillation; outcomes; percutaneous catheter ablation; prospective registry.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation*
  • Cardiovascular System*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries