Impact of Catheter Ablation for Atrial Arrhythmias on Repeat Cardioversion in Adults With Congenital Heart Disease

Satoshi Kawada, Christian Joens, Praloy Chakraborty, Erwin N. Oechslin, Susan Lucy Roche, Candice Silversides, Rachel M. Wald, Eugene Downar, Louise Harris, Lorna Swan, Rafael Alonso-Gonzalez, Sara Thorne, Kumaraswamy Nanthakumar, Blandine Mondésert, Paul Khairy, Krishnakumar Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Atrial tachyarrhythmias (AAs) are the main source of morbidity and mortality in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). Direct-current cardioversion (DCCV) is an effective method to acutely terminate AAs, but many patients require repeated DCCV. Little is known about the impact of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) of AAs on the incidence of repeated DCCV in patients with ACHD. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of RFCA on the incidence of DCCV in patients with ACHD. Methods: A total of 157 patients with ACHD undergoing DCCV in our hospital from 2011 to 2018 (female n = 76 [48.4%], mean age 37.8 ± 12.5 y), were reviewed. The median follow-up period was 31.8 months (interquartile range 16.3-55.1 mo). Results: Out of the total of 157 patients, 102 (65.0%) underwent RFCA for AAs, and 55 (35.0%) were treated without RFCA. Successful RFCA with termination of AAs during ablation was 62.7%. More than one-half of the patients had complex forms of CHD (62.4%). During follow-up, 57 patients (55.9%) who had RFCA developed recurrence of AAs, and 36 patients (35.2%) underwent repeated DCCV. Thirty-three (60.0%) out of 55 patients without RFCA required repeated cardioversion. Compared with patients without RFCA, RFCA significantly reduced the need for repeated DCCV by 40% (hazard ratio [HR] 0.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.23-0.80; P = 0.009). In multivariate analysis, successful RFCA was associated with reduced risk of DCCV (HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.19-0.92; P = 0.031). Conclusions: AAs remain common despite RFCA in patients with ACHD. Nevertheless, RFCA is associated with a marked reduction in the need for repeated DCCV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181-1190
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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