INTRODUCTION: During the past three decades, catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) have evolved from investigational procedures to their current role as effective treatment options for patients with AF. Surgical ablation of AF, using either standard, minimally invasive, or hybrid techniques, is available in most major hospitals throughout the world. Catheter ablation of AF is even more widely available, and is now the most commonly performed catheter ablation procedure.
In 2007, an initial Consensus Statement on Catheter and Surgical AF Ablation was developed as a joint effort of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), and the European Cardiac Arrhythmia Society (ECAS).1 The 2007 document was also developed in collaboration with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). This Consensus Statement on Catheter and Surgical AF Ablation was rewritten in 2012 to reflect the many advances in AF ablation that had occurred in the interim.2 The rate of advancement in the tools, techniques, and outcomes of AF ablation continue to increase as enormous research efforts are focused on the mechanisms, outcomes, and treatment of AF. For this reason, the HRS initiated an effort to rewrite and update this Consensus Statement. Reflecting both the worldwide importance of AF, as well as the worldwide performance of AF ablation, this document is the result of a joint partnership between the HRS, EHRA, ECAS, the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), and the Latin American Society of Cardiac Stimulation and Electrophysiology (Sociedad Latinoamericana de Estimulación Cardíaca y Electrofisiología [SOLAECE]). The purpose of this 2017 Consensus Statement is to provide a state-of-the-art review of the field of catheter and surgical ablation of AF and to report the findings of a writing group, convened by these five international societies. The writing group is charged with defining the indications, techniques, and outcomes of AF ablation procedures. Included within this document are recommendations pertinent to the design of clinical trials in the field of AF ablation and the reporting of outcomes, including definitions relevant to this topic.