Differences in the methodologies for evaluating atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation outcomes should be evaluated. In the present study, we compared the AF ablation outcomes among periodic clinic electrocardiography (ECG), 24-h Holter ECG, and telemonitoring ECG to evaluate the differences among these methods. In addition, we evaluated the AF-free survival rate for each method with different durations of the blanking period. A total of 30 AF patients were followed up for 6 months after initial catheter ablation, with clinic ECG on every clinic visit, monthly 24-h Holter ECG, and telemonitoring ECG twice daily and upon symptoms. AF relapse was defined as AF or atrial tachycardia detected with any of the methods. Two patients dropped out of the study, and 28 patients were followed up for 8.8 ± 2.7 months. Patients underwent 3.6 ± 0.8 clinic ECG, 5.1 ± 0.8 Holter ECG, and 273 ± 68 telemonitoring ECG examinations. During the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth months of follow-up, Holter ECG detected relapses in 11.1, 8.3, 11.5, 15.4, 4.2, and 4.8 % of patients and telemonitoring ECG detected relapses in 32.1, 25.0, 25.0, 17.9, 28.6, and 17.9 % of patients, respectively. When no duration was set for the blanking period, the AF-free survival rate was significantly lower with telemonitoring ECG (46.4 %) than with Holter ECG (78.6 %, P = 0.013) or clinic ECG (85.7 %, P = 0.002). In addition, when the duration of the blanking period was set to 3 months, the AF-free survival rate was significantly lower with telemonitoring ECG than with clinic ECG (92.9 vs. 71.4 %, P = 0.041). The AF ablation outcomes with twice-daily telemonitoring ECG might differ from those with clinic ECG when the duration of the blanking period is 0–3 months. A follow-up based solely on clinic ECG might underestimate AF recurrence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine