Worldwide survey on the methods, efficacy, and safety of catheter ablation for human atrial fibrillation

Riccardo Cappato, Hugh Calkins, Shih Ann Chen, Wyn Davies, Yoshito Iesaka, Jonathan Kalman, You Ho Kim, George Klein, Douglas Packer, Allan Skanes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1200 Scopus citations


Background - The purpose of this study was to conduct a worldwide survey investigating the methods, efficacy, and safety of catheter ablation (CA) of atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods and Results - A detailed questionnaire was sent to 777 centers worldwide. Data relevant to the study purpose were collected from 181 centers, of which 100 had ongoing programs on CA of AF between 1995 and 2002. The number of patients undergoing this procedure increased from 18 in 1995 to 5050 in 2002. The median number of procedures per center was 37.5 (range, 1 to 600). Paroxysmal AF, persistent AF, and permanent AF were the indicated arrhythmias in 100.0%, 53.0%, and 20.0% of responding centers, respectively. The most commonly used techniques were right atrial compartmentalization between 1995 and 1997, ablation of the triggering focus in 1998 and 1999, and electrical disconnection of multiple pulmonary veins between 2000 and 2002. Of 8745 patients completing the CA protocol in 90 centers, of whom 2389 (27.3%) required > 1 procedure, 4550 (52.0%; range among centers, 14.5% to 76.5%) became asymptomatic without drugs and another 2094 (23.9%; range among centers, 8.8% to 50.3%) became asymptomatic in the presence of formerly ineffective antiarrhythmic drugs over an 11.6±7.7-month follow-up period. At least 1 major complication was reported in 524 patients (6.0%). Conclusions - The findings of this survey provide a picture of the variable and evolving methods, efficacy, and safety of CA for AF as practiced in a large number of centers worldwide and may serve as a guide to clinicians considering therapeutic options in patients suffering from this arrhythmia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1100-1105
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 8 2005


  • Antiarrhythmia agents
  • Catheter ablation
  • Fibrillation
  • Follow-up studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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