Research in catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation

I am delighted that we have now started recruiting patients in a new research study at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The study is called CAPLA and is being carried out in conjunction with colleagues in Melbourne, Australia.

The study is designed to enhance our knowledge regarding the optimal strategy to perform catheter ablation for patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. That is, people who have atrial fibrillation (AF) which carries on for longer than 7 days at a time or have needed DC cardioversion to restore the normal rhythm. The cornerstone of catheter ablation for AF is to achieve electrical isolation of the pulmonary veins, which bring the blood back to the heart from the lungs. The aim of the study is to find out whether additional treatment to isolate the posterior wall of the left atrium improves the success rate of this procedure. Whilst single-centre studies have suggested there may be benefit from this approach, the hypothesis needs to be tested out in a randomised clinical trial before we should consider changing routine practice.

Who is eligible to take part? Anyone who is scheduled to undergo catheter ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation for the first time may be a candidate to take part in the study. As with any clinical trial, there is a list of inclusion and exclusion criteria, which the clinical and research team will go through in detail.

The study details can be found online here.