Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) can be associated with an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) due to mechanisms of inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and adverse atrial remodelling. It is unclear if adverse coronary events can be further reduced after successful catheter ablation of AF. We hypothesise that AF ablation and sinus maintenance could reduce future adverse cardiac events in patients with underlying CAD. Methods: A total of 310 patients with drug-refractory paroxysmal AF and prior history of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for underlying CAD were recruited in the retrospective case control study. Of these, 155 patients underwent AF ablation (the Ablation Group), while 155 patients received medical treatment (the Medical Group). All patients were followed up for major adverse cardiac events, including acute coronary syndrome requiring hospitalisation, stroke, pulmonary embolism and mortality. Results: The clinical characteristics were comparable between the two groups, except for higher antiarrhythmic drug use in the Medical Group. During a follow-up duration of 61±32 months, all-cause mortality (8.4% vs. 1.3%, p=0.004) and the overall major adverse events (47.7% vs. 12.3%, p<0.001) were significantly higher in the Medical Group than the Ablation Group. There were also more instances of stroke (10.3% vs. 3.2%, p=0.013) and acute coronary syndrome requiring hospitalisation (29% vs. 7.1%, p<0.001) in the Medical Group than the Ablation Group. Multivariate analysis confirmed that non-ablation was an independent risk factor for major adverse events (p<0.001, HR 3.4, 95% confidence interval 1.9-5.9). Conclusion: In PAF patients with established CAD who underwent PCI, catheter ablation could lead to fewer major adverse cardiac events compared to medical therapy.
- Radiofrequency Ablation