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Ablation of atrial fibrillation: the road to primary treatment option
Currently, more than 2.3 million people in North America and 4.5 million in the European Union have atrial fibrillation (AF), making it the most common arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice.1 2 It is expected that by 2050, there will be more than 10 million people with AF.3 Catheter ablation has emerged as a viable treatment option for AF. Despite the fact that less than 1% of the AF population is offered catheter-based treatment in the USA and Europe, results from prospective randomized studies remain the major hurdle facing the implementation of catheter ablation as a primary treatment option for patients with AF.
Wilber and colleagues recently published a prospective, multicentre, randomized study comparing catheter ablation and anti-arrhythmic drugs (AADs) for treatment of patients with paroxysmal AF who have previously failed at least one AAD therapy. Patients included in the study had to have at least 3 symptomatic AF episodes within the 6 months prior to randomization and did not respond to …
Competing interests NFM has acted as a paid consultant for Boehringer-Ingelheim, eCardio Diagnostics, Sanofi-Aventis and Surgivision; has received research funding from Surgivision; and been an invited speaker for Biosense Webster, Biotronik, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, eCardio Diagnostics, Medtronic, Sanofi-Aventis, St Jude and Surgivision.