Aim: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess whether renal sympathetic denervation (RDN) decreases atrial fibrillation (AF) burden in hypertensive patients with symptomatic AF at 6- and 12-month follow-up, as measured using an implantable cardiac monitor (ICM). Methods and results: A total of 20 patients with symptomatic paroxysmal or persistent AF (EHRA ≥ II) and primary hypertension with a mean office systolic blood pressure (BP) of > 140 mmHg were enrolled. After enrolment, an ICM was implanted 3 months pre-RDN to monitor AF burden. Quality of life (QOL) was assessed using the Atrial Fibrillation Effect on QualiTy-of-life (AFEQT) questionnaire. Mean age was 64 ± 7 years and 55% were females. AF burden in min/day decreased from a median (IQR) of 1.39 (0–11) pre-RDN to 0.67 (0–31.6) at 6 months (p = 0.64) and to 0.94 (0–6.0) at 12 months (pre-RDN vs. 12 months; p = 0.03). QOL improved significantly at both 6 months (+ 11 ± 15 points, p = 0.006) and 12 months (+ 10 ± 19, p = 0.04) as compared to pre-RDN. Office BP decreased significantly at 12-month follow-up (− 20 ± 19/− 7 ± 10 mmHg), p < 0.01) as compared to pre-RDN. Ambulatory BP decreased − 7 ± 16/− 3 ± 9 mmHg (p > 0.05) at 12-month follow-up as compared to pre-RDN. Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that RDN might be able to decrease AF burden in min/day as measured using an ICM, with a positive effect on QOL. Large-scale randomized trials are needed to prove the definite value of RDN in hypertensive patients with atrial fibrillation.

AF, Atrial fibrillation, Implantable cardiac monitor, Quality of life, RDN, Renal sympathetic denervation,
Clinical Research in Cardiology
Department of Cardiology

Feyz, L, Theuns, D.A.M.J, Bhagwandien, R.E, Strachinaru, M, Kardys, I, van Mieghem, N.M, & Daemen, J. (2018). Atrial fibrillation reduction by renal sympathetic denervation: 12 months’ results of the AFFORD study. Clinical Research in Cardiology. doi:10.1007/s00392-018-1391-3