The role of left atrium wall catheter ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation

Years funded:
2019 - 2021

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance in Australia, and it is expected to affect more and more Australians in the future due to an aging population and the obesity epidemic. AF results in a poorer quality of life and increases the risk of heart failure and strokes.

In patients with ongoing symptoms despite medications, a minimally invasive procedure done through the groin called catheter ablation can help restore normal heart rhythm. Catheter ablation is highly effective in patients with paroxysmal AF (AF of shorter duration). Unfortunately, in AF of longer duration (persistent AF) standard catheter ablation is not as useful. Previous trials which looked at performing extra ablation lines during standard ablation did not greatly improve the maintenance of normal heart rhythm.

However recent studies have suggested adding another step during standard ablation known as posterior left atrial wall isolation (PWI) may increase the long term success rates.  More evidence is still needed to confirm the findings from these smaller sized studies. Hence this international, multi-centre study is aimed at comparing standard ablation and posterior left atrial wall isolation (PWI) with standard ablation alone in patients with persistent AF. We expect this study to show the following: in patients with persistent AF, adding posterior wall isolation (PWI) to standard catheter ablation will significantly improve the long term maintenance of normal heart rhythm. 

Researcher Profile

Dr David Chieng

Institute: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
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