Catheter Ablation versus Thoracoscopic Surgical Ablation in Long Standing Persistent Atrial Fibrillation (CASA-AF): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Habib Rehman Khan, Ines Kralj-Hans, Shouvik Haldar, Toufan Bahrami, Jonathan Clague, Anthony De Souza, Darrel Francis, Wajid Hussain, Julian Jarman, David Gareth Jones, Neeraj Mediratta, Raad Mohiaddin, Tushar Salukhe, Simon Jones, Joanne Lord, Caroline Murphy, Joanna Kelly, Vias Markides, Dhiraj Gupta, Tom Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Atrial fibrillation is the commonest arrhythmia which raises the risk of heart failure, thromboembolic stroke, morbidity and death. Pharmacological treatments of this condition are focused on heart rate control, rhythm control and reduction in risk of stroke. Selective ablation of cardiac tissues resulting in isolation of areas causing atrial fibrillation is another treatment strategy which can be delivered by two minimally invasive interventions: percutaneous catheter ablation and thoracoscopic surgical ablation. The main purpose of this trial is to compare the effectiveness and safety of these two interventions. Methods/design: Catheter Ablation versus Thoracoscopic Surgical Ablation in Long Standing Persistent Atrial Fibrillation (CASA-AF) is a prospective, multi-centre, randomised controlled trial within three NHS tertiary cardiovascular centres specialising in treatment of atrial fibrillation. Eligible adults (n = 120) with symptomatic, long-standing, persistent atrial fibrillation will be randomly allocated to either catheter ablation or thoracoscopic ablation in a 1:1 ratio. Pre-determined lesion sets will be delivered in each treatment arm with confirmation of appropriate conduction block. All patients will have an implantable loop recorder (ILR) inserted subcutaneously immediately following ablation to enable continuous heart rhythm monitoring for at least 12 months. The devices will be programmed to detect episodes of atrial fibrillation and atrial tachycardia ≥ 30 s in duration. The patients will be followed for 12 months, completing appropriate clinical assessments and questionnaires every 3 months. The ILR data will be wirelessly transmitted daily and evaluated every month for the duration of the follow-up. The primary endpoint in the study is freedom from atrial fibrillation and atrial tachycardia at the end of the follow-up period. Discussion: The CASA-AF Trial is a National Institute for Health Research-funded study that will provide first-class evidence on the comparative efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of thoracoscopic surgical ablation and conventional percutaneous catheter ablation for long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation. In addition, the results of the trial will provide information on the effects on patients' quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117
JournalTrials
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Catheter ablation
  • Implantable loop recorder
  • Left atrial appendage exclusion
  • Long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation
  • Randomised clinical trial
  • Thoracoscopic surgical ablation

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