Sudden death after radiofrequency ablation of the atrioventricular node in patients with atrial fibrillation

Cevher Ozcan, Arshad Jahangir, Paul A. Friedman, David L. Hayes, Thomas M. Munger, Robert F. Rea, Margaret A. Lloyd, Douglas L. Packer, David O. Hodge, Bernard J. Gersh, Stephen C. Hammill, Win Kuang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the incidence and predictors of sudden death after atrioventricular (AV) node ablation and pacemaker implantation. BACKGROUND: Sudden death may occur after radiofrequency catheter ablation of the AV node and pacemaker implantation in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Whether it is related to the procedure or to pre-existing heart disease remains unclear. METHODS: All patients who had radiofrequency catheter ablation of the AV node and pacemaker implantation for rate control of medically refractory AF were identified retrospectively and observed prospectively. All patients with sudden death after ablation were identified. The relationship between the procedure and sudden death was defined on the basis of the time between the two as "likely," "possibly" or "unlikely." RESULTS: Of 334 consecutive patients with AF who underwent AV node ablation, nine had sudden death after the ablation. Four patients (1.2%) had sudden death likely related to the procedure: in 3 patients, arrest occurred within 48 h after the procedure; in one patient, arrest occurred four days after the procedure. In three other patients (0.90%), sudden death was possibly related to the procedure because the event occurred within three months afterward. The remaining two deaths were unrelated to the procedure. Diabetes, New York Heart Association functional dass (≥II), preprocedure ventricular arrhythmia, mitral or aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were independent predictors for sudden death. CONCLUSIONS: Sudden death likely or possibly related to catheter ablation occurred in 7 of 334 patients (2.1%). Risk of sudden death is highest within two days after the procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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    Ozcan, C., Jahangir, A., Friedman, P. A., Hayes, D. L., Munger, T. M., Rea, R. F., Lloyd, M. A., Packer, D. L., Hodge, D. O., Gersh, B. J., Hammill, S. C., & Shen, W. K. (2002). Sudden death after radiofrequency ablation of the atrioventricular node in patients with atrial fibrillation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 40(1), 105-110. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0735-1097(02)01927-7