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Predictors and rates of recurrence of atrial arrhythmias following catheter ablation in adults with congenital heart disease

Matthew Lewis1, William Whang2, Angelo Biviano2, Kathleen Hickey2, Hasan Garan2, Marlon Rosenbaum1

1 Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Schneeweiss Adult Congenital Heart Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
2 Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, Electrophysiology Service, New York, New York

* Corresponding Author: Matthew Lewis, MD, MPH, Herbert Irving Pavilion, 161 Fort Washington Avenue, Suite 627, New York, NY 10032. Email: email

Congenital Heart Disease 2019, 14(2), 207-212.


Background: Catheter ablation is commonly performed to treat atrial arrhythmias in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). Despite the frequency of ablations in the ACHD population, predictors of recurrence remain poorly defined.
Objective: We sought to determine predictors of arrhythmia recurrence in ACHD patients following catheter ablation for atrial arrhythmias.
Methods: We performed a retrospective study of all catheter ablations for atrial arrhythmias performed in ACHD patients between January 12, 2005 and February 11, 2015 at our institution. Prespecified exposures of interest and time from ablation to recurrence were determined via chart review.
Results: Among 124 patients (mean age: 45 years) who underwent catheter ablation, 96 (77%) were treated for macro‐reentrant atrial tachycardia, 10 (7%) for focal atrial tachycardia, 9 (7%) for atrial fibrillation, 7 (6%) for atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia, and 2 (2%) for atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia. 15 (12%) required transseptal/transbaffle puncture. Fifty‐one percent of patients recurred with a median time to recurrence of 1639 days. By univariate and multivariable analysis, body mass index (BMI) and Fontan status were the only variables associated with recurrence. Dose‐dependent effect was observed with overweight (HR = 2.37, P = .012), obese (HR = 2.67, P = .009), and morbidly obese (HR = 4.23, P = .003) patients demonstrating an increasing risk for arrhythmia recurrence postablation. There was no significant different in recurrence rates by gender, age, non‐Fontan diagnosis, or need for transseptal puncture.
Conclusions: In our cohort of ACHD patients, BMI was a significant risk factor for arrhythmia recurrence postablation, independent of Fontan status. These findings may help guide treatment decisions for persistent arrhythmias in the ACHD population.


Cite This Article

Lewis, M., Whang, W., Biviano, A., Hickey, K., Garan, H. et al. (2019). Predictors and rates of recurrence of atrial arrhythmias following catheter ablation in adults with congenital heart disease. Congenital Heart Disease, 14(2), 207–212.

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