Webinar Series on Research Priorities in Atrial Fibrillation to Advance Population, Clinical and Basic Research: Ablation

Online Webinar


The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has consistently recognized and supported efforts to advance population, clinical, and basic science research in atrial fibrillation (AF). In 2008, the NHLBI convened an expert panel to identify gaps and to recommend research strategies focused on improving AF prevention. To engage the scientific community in an effort to identify contemporary research priorities and opportunities in AF, the NHLBI recently commissioned a series of webinar-based workshops.


The inaugural webinar in the NHLBI Virtual Workshop Series on Atrial Fibrillation (AF) focused on five topic areas in AF catheter ablation: 1) emerging technologies, 2) how cardiac structure and function influence the success of AF ablation, 3) subgroups of AF patients who may benefit more and less from ablation, 4) platforms to advance clinical research, and 5) whether a sham ablation randomized trial could be conducted in the US. Internationally recognized experts discussed current state of the art and provided recommendations to advance research to optimize the use of and outcomes following AF catheter ablation. The webinar attendees included selected participants including patient advocates who enriched discussion.

The publication of the webinar, Research Needs and Priorities for Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation, is available.

Supplemental materials for the preparation and publication of the webinar will be provided when available.


5:00 PM
Introduction Webinar 1 - Ablation
Alan Go

5:05 PM
Emerging Technologies
Pierre Jais (Speaker) and Paul Wang (Discussant)

  • Particle therapy
  • Alternative energy sources
  • High density mapping
  • Electroporation (Electrotransfer)

5:35 PM
Enabling Platforms to Advance Atrial Fibrillation Clinical Research
Sana Al-Khatib (Speaker) and Andrea Russo (Discussant)

  • AF Registry
  • AF Trial Network
  • Pragmatic Research Design
  • Electronic Data Platform

6:05 PM
Given the placebo effect with procedures/medications, can a sham ablation RCT be conducted in the US? What specific outcomes benefit from ablation?
Jonathan Piccini (Speaker) and Hugh Calkins (Discussant)

  • Mortality
  • Stroke
  • Hospitalizations
  • Recurrent A-fib
  • A-fib Burden
  • Quality of life
  • Feasibility, Ethics

6:35 PM
What phenotypes benefit most from ablation?
Douglas L. Packer (Speaker) and Anne Curtis (Discussant)

Is there a role for ablation in HF and AF?

  • HF Phenotype (e.g., HFpEF, HFrEF)
  • Neural Mechanisms

Does outcome vary with structural heart disease or MRI fibrosis?

7:05 PM
What phenotypes benefit less from ablation?
Mina Chung (Speaker) and Al Buxton (Discussant)

  • Older patients
  • Long-standing AF
  • High stroke burden?
  • Genotype

7:35 PM
Group Discussion

7:50 PM
Summary, Review of Action Items
Alan Go

8:00 PM

Select Speakers

photo of Sana M. Al-Khatib
Dr. Al-Khatib is a Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Cardiology-Electrophysiology section at Duke University. Her research focus is on the prevention of sudden cardiac death and defining best approaches to treating patients with heart rhythm disorders.
Sana M. Al-Khatib, MD, MHS
photo of Emelia Benjamin
Boston University
Dr. Benjamin is an Assistant Provost for Faculty Development, Boston University Medical Campus, Vice Chair, Faculty Development and Diversity, Department of Medicine, and Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Professor of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health
Emelia Benjamin, MD. ScD.
photo of Alfred E. Buxton
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Buxton is the Ben-Haim-Josephson Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He is Director of the Clinical Electrophysiology Fellowship and the ECG Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. He was PI of the NIH-funded Multicenter Un-Sustained Tachycardia Trial (MUSTT).
Alfred E. Buxton, MD
photo of Hugh Calkins
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Dr. Calkins is the Nicholas J. Fortuin M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Professor of Medicine, Director, Cardiac Arrhythmia Services, Director, Electrophysiology Laboratory and Director, Johns Hopkins ARVD/C Program.
Hugh Calkins, MD, FHRS, FACC, FESC
photo of Mina K. Chung
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Dr. Chung is Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University; staff, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Heart & Vascular Institute and Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic.
Mina K. Chung, MD
photo of Anne Curtis
University of Buffalo
Dr. Curtis is SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University at Buffalo. She is a Past President of the Heart Rhythm Society and a recipient of their Distinguished Service Award.
Anne B. Curtis, MD
photo of Alan S. Go
Kaiser Permanente
Dr Alan Go is Director, Comprehensive Clinical Research Unit; Chief, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Conditions Section; Regional Medical Director of Clinical Trials at Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
Alan S. Go, MD
photo of Pierre Jais
University of Bordeaux, Cardiology Hospital, France
Pierre Jaïs is Professor at the University of Bordeaux, Cardiology Hospital, France. He is deputy director for the IHU LIRYC, a research institute dedicated to cardiac electric disorders.
Pierre Jais, MD
photo of Douglas L. Packer
Dr. Packer is Professor of Medicine, John M. Nasseff, Sr., Professorship in Cardiology, Director, Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology Research Laboratories, Mayo Clinic Hospital – St. Mary’s Campus, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Heart Rhythm Services Division.
Douglas L. Packer, MD, FACC, FAHA, FHRS
photo of Jonathan P. Piccini
Duke University Medical Center
Dr. Piccini is Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Duke Center for Atrial Fibrillation, Duke University Medical Center & Duke Clinical Research Institute.
Jonathan P. Piccini, MD, MHS, FHRS
photo of Andrea Russo
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Dr. Russo is Director of the Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Services at Cooper University Hospital and Professor of Medicine in the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
Andrea Russo, MD
photo of Paul Wang
Stanford University
Dr. Wang is the Director of the Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service and Professor of Medicine. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.
Paul Wang, MD