Ablation of atrial fibrillation in patients ≥75 years: Long-term clinical outcome and safety

Ilka Metzner*, Erik Wissner, Roland R. Tilz, Andreas Rillig, Shibu Mathew, Boris Schmidt, Julian Chun, Peter Wohlmuth, Sebastian Deiss, Christine Lemes, Tilman Maurer, Thomas Fink, Christian Heeger, Feifan Ouyang, Karl Heinz Kuck, Andreas Metzner

*Corresponding author for this work
57 Citations (Scopus)


Aims The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases with age. Catheter ablation is an established treatment option for patients with symptomatic AF. We sought to determine the safety and long-term clinical efficacy of AF ablation in patients ≥75 years. Methods and results Patients ≥75 years with symptomatic, drug-refractory AF were included in the study. Circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) was performed in all patients, extended to ablation of complex fractionated atrial electrograms, and/or linear lesions in PVI non-responders. Retrospective follow-up (FU) was based on routine outpatient clinic visits and regular telephone interviews. A total of 94 patients (54 male, age 78 ± 2 years, and left atrium diameter 46 ± 6 mm) with drug-refractory AF [55/94 (59%) paroxysmal AF (PAF), 29/94 (31%) persistent AF, and 10/94 (11%) long-standing persistent AF] underwent ablation. Follow-up was obtained in 93/94 (99%) patients. Following a single procedure, 35/93 (38%) patients were in stable sinus rhythm (SR; 46% PAF, 31% persistent AF, and 10% long-standing persistent AF) after a mean FU of 37 ± 20 months. After a mean of 1.5 ± 0.6 procedures, 55/93 (59%) patients were ultimately in stable SR (76% PAF, 41% persistent AF, and 20% long-standing persistent AF). In a total of 137 procedures, 8 major (5.8%) and 26 minor (19%) complications occurred. Conclusions Catheter ablation in patients ≥75 years is associated with a favourable clinical long-term outcome in patients with PAF, while results are less promising in persistent or long-standing persistent patients. The safety profile of AF ablation in patients ≥75 years is comparable with patients of younger age.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)543-549
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2016

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Cardiological Center Luebeck (UHZL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-12 Cardiology, Angiology

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