Comparison of the predictive value of ten risk scores for outcomes of atrial fibrillation patients undergoing radiofrequency pulmonary vein isolation

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Background: A significant number of patients experience recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF) after ablation. Various risk scores have been described that may predict outcomes after AF ablation. In this study, we aimed to compare ten previously described risk scores with regard to their predictive value for post-ablation AF recurrence and procedural complications. Methods: A total of 482 AF patients (63% paroxysmal AF, 66% male, mean age 62 ± 9 years) undergoing initial radiofrequency pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) were included in the present analysis. Prior to ablation, all patients underwent both transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and either cardiac CT imaging or CMR imaging. The following risk scores were calculated for each patient: APPLE, ATLAS, BASE-AF 2, CAAP-AF, CHADS 2, CHA 2DS 2-VASc, DR-FLASH, HATCH, LAGO and MB-LATER. Results: Median follow-up was 16 (12–31) months. AF recurrence after a 90-day blanking period was observed in 199 patients (41%), occurring after a median of 183 (124–360) days. AF recurrence was less frequent in paroxysmal AF patients compared to non-paroxysmal AF patients (34% vs. 54%, p < 0.001). Overall periprocedural complication rate was 6%. All scores, except the HATCH score, demonstrated statistically significant but poor predictive value for recurrent AF after ablation (area under curve [AUC] 0.553–0.669). CHA 2DS 2-VASc and CAAP-AF were the only risk scores with predictive value for procedural complications (AUC 0.616, p = 0.043; AUC 0.615, p = 0.044; respectively). Conclusions: Currently available risk scores perform poorly in predicting outcomes after AF ablation. These data suggest that the utility of these scores for clinical decision-making is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Pulmonary vein isolation
  • Risk score

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