Background: No studies assessed impact of atrial flutter (AFL) ablation on outcomes in patients with AFL and concurrent heart failure (HF).

Objectives: To assess the effect of AFL ablation on mortality and HF readmissions in patients with AFL and HF.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study identified 15,952 patients with AFL and HF from the 2016-17 Nationwide Readmissions Database. The primary outcome was a composite of all-cause mortality and/or HF readmission at 1 year. Secondary outcomes included HF readmission, all-cause mortality, and atrial fibrillation (AF) readmission at 1 year. Propensity score match (1:2) algorithm was used to adjust for confounders. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to generate hazard ratios.

Results: Of the 15,952 patients, 9889 had heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and 6063 had heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). In the matched HFrEF cohort (n = 5421), the primary outcome was significantly lower in patients undergoing ablation (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.61-0.85, P < .001). HF readmission (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.61-0.89, P = .001), all-cause mortality (HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.46-0.85, P = .003), and AF readmission (HR 0.63, 95% CI 0.48-0.82, P = .001) were also significantly reduced. In the matched HFpEF cohort (n = 2439), the primary outcome was lower in the group receiving ablation but was not statistically significant (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.63-1.01, P = .065).

Conclusion: In patients with AFL and HFrEF, AFL ablation was associated with lower mortality and HF readmissions at 1 year. Patients with AFL and HFpEF did not show a similar significant reduction in the primary outcome.

Keywords: Atrial flutter; Catheter ablation; Heart failure; Nationwide Readmissions Database.

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Copyright © 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of Heart Rhythm Society. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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