Introduction: Although rare, some paroxysmal atrial fibrillations (AF) still progress despite radiofrequency (RF) ablation. In the study, we evaluated the long-term efficacy of RF ablation and the predictors of AF progression. Methods: A total of 589 paroxysmal AF patients (404 men and 185 women; aged 54 ± 12 years) who received 3-dimensional mapping and ablation were enrolled. Their clinical parameters and electrophysiological characteristics were collected. They were divided into Group 1 (N = 13, with AF progression) and Group 2 (N = 576, no AF progression). AF progression was defined as recurrence of persistent AF. Results: Group 1 patients had larger left atrial (LA) diameter, larger left ventricle (LV) end-systolic and end-diastolic diameters, poorer LV systolic function, and more amiodarone use at baseline. After 1.2 ± 0.5 procedures, 123 (21%) patients experienced recurrence during 56 ± 29 months’ follow-up. In the multivariate analysis, LA diameter (P = 0.018, HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.02–1.24) and LV end-systolic diameter (P = 0.005, HR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.03–1.17) independently predicted AF progression. LA diameter >43 mm and LV end-systolic diameter >31 mm were the best cut-off values for predicting AF progression by ROC analysis. AF progression rate achieved 19% if they had both larger LA diameter (>43 mm) and LV end-systolic diameter (>31 mm). Conclusion: RF ablation prevents the progression of paroxysmal AF effectively, except in patients with increased LA diameter and LV end-systolic diameter on echocardiogram, suggesting more aggressive rhythm control therapies should be considered in these patients.
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