The Effect of Aggressive Blood Pressure Control on the Recurrence of Atrial Fibrillation After Catheter Ablation: A Randomized, Open Label, Clinical Trial (Substrate Modification with Aggressive Blood Pressure Control: SMAC- AF)
Background—Radiofrequency catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation has become an important therapy for AF, however recurrence rates remain high. We proposed to determine whether aggressive blood pressure (BP) lowering prevents recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF) after catheter ablation in patients with AF and a high symptom burden.
Methods—We randomly assigned 184 patients with AF and a BP greater than 130/80 mmHg to aggressive BP (target <120/80 mm Hg) or standard BP treatment (target <140/90 mmHg) prior to their scheduled AF catheter ablation. The primary outcome was symptomatic recurrence of AF/atrial tachycardia/atrial flutter lasting greater than 30 seconds, determined 3 months beyond catheter ablation by a blinded endpoint evaluation.
Results—The median follow-up was 14 months. At six months, the mean systolic BP in the aggressive BP treatment group was 123.2±13.2 versus 135.4±15.7mm Hg (p<0.001) in the standard treatment group. The primary outcome occurred in 106 patients, 54 (61.4%) in the aggressive BP treatment group, compared to 52 (61.2%) in the standard treatment group, (Hazard Ratio 0.94, 95% Confidence Interval 0.65-1.38, p=0.763). In the prespecified subgroup analysis of the influence of age, patients aged ≥ 61 years had a lower primary outcome event rate with aggressive BP (Hazard Ratio 0.58, 95% Confidence Interval (0.34, 0.97), p=0.013). There was a higher rate of hypotension requiring medication adjustment in the aggressive BP group (26% versus 0%).
Conclusions—In this study, this duration of aggressive BP treatment did not reduce atrial arrhythmia recurrence after catheter ablation for AF, but resulted in more hypotension.
Clinical Trial Registration—Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00438113
- Received November 1, 2016.
- Revision received February 3, 2017.
- Accepted February 14, 2017.