Changes in quality of life, cognition and functional status following catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Jonathan P Piccini
  • Derick M Todd
  • Tyler Massaro
  • Aimee Lougee
  • Karl Georg Haeusler
  • Benjamin Blank
  • Joseph Paul De Bono
  • David J Callans
  • Arif Elvan
  • Thomas Fetsch
  • Isabelle Van Gelder
  • Philip Gentlesk
  • Massimo Grimaldi
  • Jim Hansen
  • Gerhard Hindricks
  • Hussein Al-khalidi
  • Lluis Mont
  • Jens Cosedis Nielsen
  • Georg Noelker
  • Tom De Potter
  • Daniel Scherr
  • Ulrich Schotten
  • Sakis Themistoclakis
  • Johan Vijgen
  • Luigi Di Biase

Colleges, School and Institutes


Objective To investigate changes in quality of life (QoL), cognition and functional status according to arrhythmia recurrence after atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. Methods We compared QoL, cognition and functional status in patients with recurrent atrial tachycardia (AT)/AF versus those without recurrent AT/AF in the AXAFA–AFNET 5 clinical trial. We also sought to identify factors associated with improvement in QoL and functional status following AF ablation by overall change scores with and without analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Results Among 518 patients who underwent AF ablation, 154 (29.7%) experienced recurrent AT/AF at 3 months. Patients with recurrent AT/AF had higher mean CHA2DS2-VASc scores (2.8 vs 2.3, p<0.001) and more persistent forms of AF (51 vs 39%, p=0.012). Median changes in the SF-12 physical (3 (25th, 75th: −1, 8) vs 1 (−5, 8), p=0.026) and mental scores (2 (−3, 9) vs 0 (−4, 5), p=0.004), EQ-5D (0 (0,2) vs 0 (−0.1, 0.1), p=0.027) and Karnofsky functional status scores (10 (0, 10) vs 0 (0, 10), p=0.001) were more favourable in patients without recurrent AT/AF. In the overall cohort, the proportion with at least mild cognitive impairment (Montreal Cognitive Assessment <26) declined from 30.3% (n=157) at baseline to 21.8% (n=113) at follow-up. ANCOVA identified greater improvement in Karnofsky functional status (p<0.001) but not SF-12 physical (p=0.238) or mental scores (p=0.065) in those without recurrent AT/AF compared with patients with recurrent AT/AF. Conclusions Patients without recurrent AT/AF appear to experience greater improvement in functional status but similar QoL as those with recurrent AT/AF after AF ablation.


Original languageEnglish
Early online date12 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Oct 2020