Long term follow up of radiofrequency catheter ablation of atrial flutter: clinical course and predictors of atrial fibrillation occurrence.
To evaluate the time to onset and the predictors of atrial fibrillation (AF) during long term follow up of patients with typical atrial flutter (AFL) treated with transisthmic ablation. Prospective multicentre study. 383 patients (75.4% men, mean (SD) age 61.7 (11.1) years) who underwent transisthmic ablation for typical AFL were investigated. In 239 patients (62.4%) AF was present before ablation. Ablation proved successful in 367 patients (95.8%). During a mean (SD) follow up of 20.5 (12.4) months, 41.5% of patients reported AF. The cumulative probability of postablation AF increased continuously as time passed: it was 22% at six months, 36% at one year, 50% at two years, 58% at three years, and 63% at four years. AF occurred in a large proportion of patients after transisthmic catheter ablation of typical AFL. The occurrence of AF was progressive during follow up. Preablation AF, age < 65 years, and left atrial size > 50 mm are associated with postablation AF occurrence.