Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation: Past, present, and future

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained tachyarrhythmia encountered by physicians. The prevalence of AF in patients over the age of 65 is approximately 6% and approaches 10% in patients over the age of 85. This chapter reviews that evolution, summarizes current trends in practice, and speculates on the future directions of AF ablation. Catheter ablation for atrial tachyarrhythmias is a relatively recent phenomenon. The observation that AF is frequently triggered by ectopic, rapidly firing atrial foci amounted to a paradigm shift in ablative treatment. Surgical and catheter based strategies to date had focused principally on substrate modification, in an effort to disrupt the maintenance of AF. As importantly, the efficacy and risk-to-benefit ratio of nonpharmacological interventions for AF continues to improve. New modalities of ablation, including ultrasound, laser, microwave, and cryoablation are all subjects of ongoing investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPractical Guide to Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781118658369
ISBN (Print)9781118658505
StatePublished - Dec 5 2015


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial tachyarrhythmias
  • Catheter ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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