Compared to drug therapies, catheter ablation, a common cardiovascular procedure, didn’t achieve a significant reduction of strokes, deaths, and other complications in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, patients who get the procedure experience much greater symptom relief and long-term improvements in the quality of life than those who only get drugs.
These were the findings of two new studies, published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, reporting the outcomes of the Catheter Ablation versus Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation (CABANA) trial.
Funded in part by NHLBI, CABANA is a randomized trial that compared state-of-the-art drug therapies for atrial fibrillation—an irregular heartbeat—to ablation, a procedure in which a doctor inserts a catheter through a patient’s blood vessels to scar or destroy heart tissue causing the irregularities.
Read the papers