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Ablation statistics question

Posted by jennifer92151 
Ablation statistics question
July 11, 2018 11:16AM
I saw the cardiologist (EP) today and he said that ablation works 80% of the time. He said that in that 80%, 20% have to have a second "touch up". My question is does that mean 20% completely don't work?
Re: Ablation statistics question
July 11, 2018 11:52AM
No, but it’s impossible to derive meaning from a broad statement like that.

I’m going to put forth what I think the criteria are for getting to the real answer:

1. The sample set needs to be exclusively left atrial AF ablation
2. The procedure needs to be defined as either PVI only or PVI plus additional left atrial mapping and ablation
3. Success needs to be defined as freedom from AF without continued use of AAR (anti-arrhythmic) drugs. Continued use of beta blockers or anticoagulants is OK as there may be good reasons for those.

I think that narrows it down enough. Thoughts, anyone?
Re: Ablation statistics question
July 11, 2018 01:29PM
No exact answer, many variables. That 80/20/20 stat seems to high in favor of success. Like Wolfpack eluded to, if you narrow it down to your specific condition, and what Dr. would be performing it, then a more precise estimate may be obtainable.
Ken
Re: Ablation statistics question
July 11, 2018 02:05PM
The other missing element is time. If an ablation last one, five, ten, twenty years, which is considered successful? Mine has lasted 11.5 years, but if I have to go back for a "touch up", was mine a success?

Statistics can be really misleading without knowing all the elements factored into the conclusion.

From what I have seen on this forum, 80% seems very high, but not if the time frame is 2 years.
Re: Ablation statistics question
July 11, 2018 02:45PM
Quote
Ken
The other missing element is time. If an ablation last one, five, ten, twenty years, which is considered successful? Mine has lasted 11.5 years, but if I have to go back for a "touch up", was mine a success?

Yes, it was a success (>1 year afib free). Your ablation hasn't failed; your afib has progressed. Most likely, a new source of ectopy has developed outside of the isolated areas. A touch-up will most likely be quick and easy.

And yeah, 80% is very high. Most likely he's counting patients who still need AADs to stay in rhythm as successes.
Re: Ablation statistics question
July 11, 2018 04:21PM
By that definition, then, my PVI index ablation was a success. It lasted from August 2015 to April 2018. No drugs of any kind. And it still is, minus that one episode. Time will tell, I suppose.
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