Catheter ablation boosts QoL, exercise tolerance among patients with persistent AF
Catheter ablation improves exercise tolerance and quality of life (QoL) among patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (per-AF), a recent study has found.
Fifty-three per-AF patients (mean age, 65.6±8.7 years; 77 percent male) who underwent catheter ablation were enrolled. QoL was set as the primary endpoint of the study and was assessed using an original tool, along with functional evaluation, at 3 months after the procedure. A symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise test was administered at baseline and at 3 months after ablation.
Overall, QoL increased significantly from 5.48±1.14 at baseline to 5.64±1.06 after 3 months (p=0.010). This was driven mainly by a statistical increase in scores in those who reported symptom improvements in daily life (5.32±0.94 to 5.7±0.94; p=0.010). The change in QoL scores was null in participants who reported no such improvements.
Notably, all measures in the cardiopulmonary exercise test improved significantly after ablation. At the 3-month follow-up, peak work rate increased from 84.6±24.3 to 96.2±24.0 watts (p<0.001). The same was true for anaerobic threshold (13.1±3.0 to 15.1±3.3 mL/kg/min; p<0.001) and peak oxygen consumption (19.1±4.6 to 22.5±5.0 mL/kg/min; p<0.001).
The maximum heart rate, on the other hand, dropped from 156.6±26.0 to 126.9±20.8 beats per minute (p<0.001). These effects were sustained and remained significant even in the subgroups of patients with and without daily symptom improvements.