[Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation - early assessment briefs (Alert)]

Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care
Record ID 32005000116
English, Swedish
Authors' objectives:

This review aims to assess the effectiveness of catheter ablation therapy in curing atrial fibrillation.

Authors' results and conclusions: Patient benefit: The studies currently available are non-randomised, and are of low quality. Treatment results reported by these studies vary widely. This can partly be explained by differences with respect to patient selection, type of atrial fibrillation, applied method, catheterization experience, criteria for treatment effects, and follow-up time. Results from the only controlled (but not randomized) study showed lower morbidity and mortality among patients who had undergone catheter ablation therapy compared to those treated with medication. Quality of life was influenced more favorably following ablation therapy. Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation was less effective in patients with persistent than in those with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Catheter ablation therapy is associated with risks for serious complications, mainly pulmonary vein stenosis and injury to adjacent structures behind the left atrium, eg, the esophagus. Ethical aspects: Patients with severe symptoms comprise the current target group for catheter ablation therapy. It is extremely important for these patients to receive complete information about the most recent evidence on the effects and risks of treatment.
Authors' recommendations: The method remains in the development phase. There is insufficient scientific evidence for drawing conclusions about benefits for patients and the methods cost-effectiveness (Evidence grade 4). Results from randomized controlled trials are necessary to assess fully the positive and negative effects of the method and its cost-effectiveness.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project: www.sbu.se/201006e
Year Published: 2005
URL for published report: www.sbu.se/201006
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Sweden
MeSH Terms
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
Organisation Name: Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services
Contact Address: P.O. Box 3657, SE-103 59 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel: +46 8 4123200, Fax: +46 8 4113260
Contact Name: registrator@sbu.se
Contact Email: registrator@sbu.se
Copyright: Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU)
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