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Feasibility and safety of outpatient radiofrequency catheter ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation
  1. Laurent M Haegeli1,2,
  2. Firat Duru2,
  3. Evan E Lockwood1,
  4. Thomas F Lüscher2,
  5. Laurence D Sterns1,
  6. Paul G Novak1,
  7. Richard A Leather1
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2Cardiology, Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laurent M Haegeli, Cardiology, Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital Zurich, Rämistrasse 100 CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland; laurent.haegeli{at}


Introduction Percutaneous catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) is a procedure performed typically in an inpatient setting. The feasibility and safety of catheter ablation in patients with paroxysmal and persistent AF were evaluated on an outpatient basis.

Methods 230 AF ablation procedures were performed in 206 patients (74% male; mean age 56±9 years). Patients were admitted to the hospital outpatient facility in the morning for the AF ablation procedure on the same day. The ablation strategy consisted of wide area circumferential lines around both ipsilateral pulmonary veins. After monitoring in the outpatient service, patients were discharged on the same day, if they were clinically stable.

Results Mean procedure time was 201±31 min. Major complications occurred in seven patients (3%). One patient (0.4%) suffered a minor stroke and six patients had pericardial tamponade requiring percutaneous drainage. Patients could be discharged on the same day following 205 (89%) procedures. Among the 148 patients whose clinical outcome was assessed at 6 months, 127 (86%) had a reduction of the total symptomatic AF episodes, compared to pre-ablation, with a complete lack of symptoms in 101 patients (68%).

Conclusion Catheter ablation of AF on the day of admission is feasible and safe with a low risk of complications. The vast majority of the patients can be discharged on the same day.

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • catheter ablation
  • outpatient
  • anticoagulation
  • safety
  • outcome
  • adult cardiology, pacing & electrophysiology

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  • LMH and FD contributed equally to this article and are shared first authors.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.