A randomized ablation-based atrial fibrillation rhythm control versus rate control trial in patients with heart failure and high burden atrial fibrillation: The RAFT-AF trial rationale and design
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Heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are 2 cardiac conditions that are increasing in prevalence and incidence. The 2 conditions frequently coexist, and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Catheter ablation of AF has been successfully performed in patients with HF, with an improvement in HF and AF, when compared to amiodarone, but further data is required to compare this to rate control. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective is to determine whether AF treated by catheter ablation, with or without antiarrhythmic drugs reduces all-cause mortality and hospitalizations for HF as compared with rate control in patients with HF and a high burden AF. METHODS: This is a multi-center prospective randomized open blinded endpoint (PROBE) study. Patients with NYHA class II-III HF (HF with reduced ejection fraction (<35%) or HF with preserved ejection fraction), and high burden AF are included in the trial. Patients are randomized to either rate control or catheter ablation-based AF rhythm control in a 1:1 ratio. Patients in the rate control group receive optimal HF therapy and rate control measures to achieve a resting hazard ratio (HR) < 80 bpm and 6-minute walk HR < 110 bpm. Patients randomized to catheter ablation-based AF rhythm control group receive optimal HF therapy and one or more aggressive catheter ablation, which include PV antral ablation and LA substrate ablation with or without adjunctive antiarrhythmic drug. The primary outcome is a composite of all-cause mortality and hospitalization for heart failure defined as an admission to a health care facility. The sample size is 600. Enrolment has been completed.
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