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Extreme Obesity is Associated with Low Success Rate of Atrial Fibrillation Catheter Ablation

Background: Catheter ablation (CA) is an established treatment for patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of single CA in AF patients with extreme obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 40 kg/m2) and its long-term impact on body weight. Methods: Patients with BMI ≥40 kg/m2 who underwent CA at the Ohio State University between 2012 and 2016 were included. The primary efficacy endpoint was no atrial arrhythmia lasting > 30 seconds without anti-arrhythmic drugs during 1-year follow-up after a single procedure. Results: Out of 230 AF patients with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2 undergoing CA, pulmonary vein isolation was achieved in 226 (98%) patients. Seventeen patients (7.4%) experienced acute major complications, including pericardial effusion, vascular complications and respiratory failure. Patient characteristics for 135 patients with complete 1-year follow-up were as follows: mean age 58.6 ± 9.6 years, mean BMI 44.5± 4.7 kg/m2, female 63 (47%), non-paroxysmal AF 100 (74%), median CHA2DS2-VASc score 2 (IQR:1-3). In this cohort, the primary efficacy endpoint was achieved in 44 (33%) patients. Paroxysmal AF was associated with higher CA success compared to non-paroxysmal (51 vs. 26% [p < 0.01]).There was no significant weight change even in patients with successful AF CA. Conclusions: Extreme obesity is associated with low AF CA success, particularly in those with non-paroxysmal AF. Successful AF CA was not associated with long-term weight reduction. A better treatment strategy is needed in this population of AF and extreme obesity.

Credits: Toshimasa Okabe, MD; Benjamin Buck, MD; Samuel A. Hayes MD; Thura T.Harfi MD, MPH; Muhammad R. Afzal, MD; Jaret Tyler, MD; Mahmoud Houmsse, MD; Steven J. Kalbfleisch, MD; Raul Weiss, MD; John D. Hummel, MD; Ralph S. Augostini, MD; Emile G. Daoud, MD

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