Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) prevalence increases with age. Aging affects the substrate properties of the left atrium (LA) and the outcomes of catheter ablation for treating AF. We investigated the AF trigger distribution and catheter ablation outcomes in patients of different ages with AF. Methods: 1585 patients with AF (1181 paroxysmal and 404 non- paroxysmal AF) who had undergone catheter ablation were enrolled. The patients were divided into young (20–40 year-old, n = 175), middle-aged (41–64 year-old, n = 1134), and old (≥ 65 year-old, n = 276) groups. Electrophysiological characteristics and AF trigger sites were recorded. Result: The incidence of AF with only non-pulmonary vein (non-PV) foci was higher in the young group than in the other groups (8.6% vs. 3.6% vs. 3.3%, p < 0.01). Non-PV foci were more commonly located in the superior vena cava (SVC) in the young group than in the other groups (13.1% vs. 7.8% vs. 6.5%, p = 0.03). The left atrium (LA) mean voltage was higher and the incidence of very late recurrence after AF ablation was lower in the young group than in the other groups. However, the final AF recurrence rate after multiple procedures and complication rates were similar among all the groups at a mean follow-up of 5.6 years. Conclusion: The young patients with AF had a higher incidence of only non-PV foci, mostly located in SVC, than the middle-aged and old patients. Our study highlights the importance of identifying the non-PV foci in catheter ablation of young patients with AF.
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