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Atrial fibrillation ablation: is common practice far from guidelines’ world? The Italian experience from a national survey



Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia, occurring in 1–2% of the general population. Catheter ablation has become an important treatment modality for patients with symptomatic drug-refractory AF. We report data regarding the AF ablation approaches and modalities in the Italian “real world.”


The survey was set-up to collect data on ablation procedure across Italy. All centers performing AF ablation were invited, regardless of the number of annual procedures, to complete a questionnaire regarding their ablation approaches. All centers reported data regarding procedures performed during the year 2017.


A total of 3260 procedures were reported from 49 participating hospitals. Most of Italian regions were included in the study. The majority of the centers performed “Always” pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) in paroxysmal and persistent AF catheter ablation, while adjunctive lesions in persistent AF ablation were planned in most of them but not all, and 16% never performed lesions other than PVI. During ablation procedure, vitamin k inhibitors were uninterrupted in 55% of centers, while direct oral anticoagulant in 44% of centers was used uninterruptedly. No relationship was observed between patient data and the number of procedures performed at each center.


This survey suggests that the adherence of Italian centers to the most recent European Society of Cardiology guidelines for AF ablation is reasonably high.

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Correspondence to Antonio Di Monaco.

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AIAC membership: all the authors are AIAC members. Pelargonio and Tritto are chiefs of AIAC Task Force AF Ablation

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Pelargonio, G., Di Monaco, A., Guida, P. et al. Atrial fibrillation ablation: is common practice far from guidelines’ world? The Italian experience from a national survey. J Interv Card Electrophysiol 63, 125–132 (2022).

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  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Registry
  • Italy