Video

Catheter Ablation for AF: RCT Review

Published: 03 Dec 2020

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In this latest 'Journal Club' video episode, Prof Dhiraj Gupta (Liverpool, UK) meets withs Dr Jason Andrade (Vancouver, CA) to discuss the latest findings from his EARLY-AF trial that he recently presented at AHA2020.

Together, they consider the differences between EARLY AF and other recent RCTs that have looked at cryoballoon PVI as a first-line therapy option for patients with paroxysmal AF including, STOP-AF, MANTRA-PAF and CAPTAF to assess if it's time to offer catheter ablation as a first-line therapy option for AF patients.

Questions:

  1. What were the headline results of the recent EARLY AF and STOP AF trials?
  2. Why are EARLY AF and STOP AF results so different from previous studies looking at ablation as first-line therapy?
  3. Absence of Crossover in EARLY AF is truly unique: how did you prevent this?
  4. Can these study results be extrapolated to radiofrequency (RF) PVI?
  5. Did you specify a minimum operator experience level before enrolment in trial?
  6. How readily can the EARLY AF outcomes be applied to the real world? Should we be concerned that a number of small-volume centres and operators may start taking up Cryo PVI now?
  7. Can the results be extrapolated to offer catheter ablation as first-line treatment for persistent AF too?
  8. With the decrease in Healthcare utilization shown in the ablation arms in both studies, would universal healthcare systems start covering ablation as the first-line treatment? What are the barriers and challenges?

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