Atrial Fibrillation: Ablation Found Superior to Conventional Drug Therapy

Carlos A. Morillo, MD, FRCPC, FACC, FHRS, FESC Professor Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division Program Director Cardiac Electrophysiology and Autonomic Physiology Fellowship Arrhythmia & Pacing Service McMaster University-HHSC Director Syncope and Autonomic Disorder Unit Senior Investigator, Arrhythmia & Global Health, Population Health Research Institute Hamilton, ON, Canada MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Carlos A. Morillo, MD, FRCPC, FACC, FHRS, FESC
Professor Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division
Program Director Cardiac Electrophysiology and Autonomic Physiology Fellowship ,Hamilton, ON, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Morillo: The main findings were that Ablation of atrial fibrillation was superior to conventional antiarrythmic drug therapy in patients with Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation that had not been treated with Antiarrhythmic medications. Ablation extended the time to first recurrence of atrial fibrillation within the 2 year follow-up of the study and significantly reduced the recurrence of repeated episodes of AF.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Morillo: Not really many studies have shown that ablation is better than medications but in patients that have previously failed Antiarrhythmic drug treatment. We were expecting a greater effect of ablation but still documented a 44% relative risk reduction in recurrence of AF.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Morillo: This study provides further support to offering ablation as first line treatment of Atrial fibrillation in young patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation that have not received Antiarrhythmic drugs previously. The procedure is not free of risks and this procedure should be performed in centres with experience managing patients with atrial fibrillation.

Citation:

Radiofrequency Ablation vs Antiarrhythmic Drugs as First-Line Treatment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (RAAFT-2)A Randomized Trial

Morillo CA, Verma A, Connolly SJ, et al. Radiofrequency Ablation vs Antiarrhythmic Drugs as First-Line Treatment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (RAAFT-2): A Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2014;311(7):692-700. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.467.