Clínic Barcelona

Treatment of atrial fibrillation through ablation is more effective than antiarrhythmic drug treatment

A recent study, conducted in 8 hospitals in Spain and led from the Hospital Clínic - IDIBAPS, has randomly compared catheter ablation vs. antiarrhythmic drug in the treatment of persistent atrial fibrillation. The SARA Study (Study of Ablation vs Antiarrhythmic Drugs in Persistent Atrial Fibrillation) has been published as Fast Track in the journal European Heart Journal. After one year of monitoring, the study concludes that treatment with ablation is more effective than antiarrhythmic drugs in preventing relapse of the arrhythmia. In the group treated with ablation the 70% of patients did not present any long lasting relapse of the arrhythmia, whereas among patients treated with antiarrhythmic drugs only 43 % were free of relapse during the follow-up. Dr. Lluis Mont, from the Cardiology Department at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and IDIBAPS investigator at the Arrhythmias, resynchronization and cardiac imaging Team, is the first author of the study, while Dr. Josep Brugada, from the same service and research team and also Medical Director of the Hospital Clínic, is the last one.