The effect of antiarrhythmic medication management on atrial fibrillation ablation outcomes

Jonathan W. Dukes, Karuna Chilukuri, Daniel Scherr, Joseph Marine, Ronald D Berger, Saman Nazarian, Alan Cheng, David D Spragg, Hugh Calkins, Charles A. Henrikson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Effect of Antiarrhythmic Drugs Ablation Outcomes Background Patients commonly present for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation while taking antiarrhythmic (AA) medications. It is unknown if AA use at the time of ablation affects procedural outcome. This study compares the AF ablation outcomes of patients who underwent ablation while on AA medications to those who were not on AA medications. Methods and Results A total of 180 consecutive patients who underwent their first catheter ablation of AF were identified from the Johns Hopkins Hospital AF registry and divided into 2 cohorts: those On AA at the time of ablation (127 patients, mean follow-up 24.6 months) and those Off AA at the time of ablation (53 patients, mean follow-up 20.3 months). Follow-up was performed to identify recurrent AF. There was no statistically significant difference in the percentage of patients without a recurrence of symptomatic AF (single procedure success rate) in the On and Off AA groups at 6 months postablation (53.5% vs 50.1%, P = 0.75), or by the end of follow-up (37.8% vs 41.5%, P = 0.64). For those patients who had symptomatic AF recurrence, the average time to recurrence was 6.2 ± 9.0 months in the On AA group and 4.2 ± 7.2 months in the Off AA group (P = 0.27). Conclusions There was no statistically significant difference in the rate of symptomatic AF recurrence between the On AA and Off AA groups in this study. The use of AA medications at the time of ablation does not appear to affect procedural outcomes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-887
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013



  • ablation outcomes population
  • antiarrhythmic medications
  • atrial fibrillation
  • catheter ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this