To evaluate rhythm control up to two years after atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation and its relation to reported symptoms.
The implantable loop recorder (ILR) continuously records the electrocardiogram (ECG), has an automatic AF detection algorithm, and has a possibility for patients to activate an ECG recording during symptoms.
Fifty-seven patients (mean age 57 ± 9 years, 60% male, 88% paroxysmal AF) underwent AF ablation following ILR implantation. Device data were downloaded at the ablation and three, six, 12, 18, and 24 months after ablation.
Fifty-four patients completed the two-year follow-up. Thirteen (24%) patients had no AF episodes detected by ILR during follow-up. Ten of 41 patients (24%) with AF recurrence were only detected by ILR and AF recurrences were detected earlier by ILR (P 0.5% and longest AF episode >6 hours before the ablation were independent predictors of AF recurrence during intermittent but not continuous monitoring.
After AF ablation, the AF burden was low throughout the 24 months follow-up. Nevertheless, symptoms were commonly indicated but one-third of patient-activated recordings did not show AF. Continuous monitoring was superior to intermittent follow-up in detecting AF episodes and assessing the AF burden.