Effect of electrical cardioversion on 1-year outcomes in patients with early recurrence after catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation


Atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence is common in the 3-month blanking-period after catheter ablation, during which electrical cardioversion (ECV) is usually performed to restore sinus rhythm. Whether ECV can affect the clinical outcome of post-ablation AF patients is inconsistent, however. We aimed to explore the 1-year effect of ECV on AF recurrence and rehospitalization in patients experienced recurrence within 3-month after AF catheter ablation.


Patients who experienced recurrence within 3-month after AF catheter ablation procedure were enrolled from the China Atrial Fibrillation Registry (China-AF). A 1:3 Propensity score matching (PSM) method was applying to adjust the confounders between patients who had been treated by ECV or not. Logistic regression models were conducted to evaluate the association of ECV with 1-year AF recurrence and rehospitalization.


In this study, 2961 patients experienced AF recurrence within 3-month after the procedure, and 282 of them underwent successful ECV, 2155 patients did not undergo ECV. One-year AF recurrence rates were 56.4% in ECV group versus 65.4% in non-ECV group (p = .003), and were 55.9% versus 65.9%, respectively, after PSM (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.66; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49-0.88, p = .005). However, the difference of 1-year rehospitalization rates between two groups were not statistically significant before (ECV group: 23.7% vs. non-ECV group: 22.3%, p = .595) and after PSM (ECV group: 24.4% vs. non-ECV group: 21.6%, adjusted OR1.14; 95% CI 0.81-1.62, p = .451).


Successful ECV was associated with lower rate of one-year recurrence in patients with early recurrent AF after catheter ablation.