Oral anticoagulant therapy for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing ablation: results from the First European Snapshot Survey on Procedural Routines for Atrial Fibrillation Ablation (ESS-PRAFA)

Tatjana S. Potpara*, Torben B. Larsen, Jean Claude Deharo, Ole Rossvoll, Nikolaos Dagres, Derick Todd, Laurent Pison, Alessandro Proclemer, Helmut Purefellner, Carina Blomstrom-Lundqvist

*Corresponding author for this work

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The European Snapshot Survey on Procedural Routines in Atrial Fibrillation Ablation (ESS-PRAFA) is a prospective, multicentre snapshot survey of patients undergoing atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, conducted to collect patient-based data on current clinical practices in AF ablation in context of the latest AF Guidelines and contemporary oral anticoagulant therapies. The EP Research Network Centres were asked to prospectively enrol consecutive patients during a 6-week period (September/October 2014). Data were collected via the web-based case report form. We present the results pertinent to the use of antithrombotic therapies. Thirteen countries prospectively enrolled 455 eligible consecutive patients [mean age 59 +/- 10.8 years, 131 (28.8%) females]. The mean CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score was 1.12 +/- 1.06 [137 patients (30.1%) had a score of >= 2]. Before ablation, 443 patients (97.4%) were on anticoagulant therapy [143 (31.4%) on non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) and 264 (58.0%) on vitamin K antagonists (VKAs)]. Of the latter, 79.7% underwent ablation without VKA interruption, whilst a variety of strategies were used in patients taking NOAC. After ablation, most patients (89.3%) continued the same anticoagulant as before, and 2 (0.4%) were not prescribed any anticoagulation. At discharge, 280 patients (62.2%) were advised oral anticoagulation for a limited period of mean 3.8 +/- 2.2 months. On multivariate analysis, CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc, AF duration, prior VKA use, and estimated AF ablation success were significantly associated with the decision on short-term anticoagulation. Our results show the increasing use of NOAC in patients undergoing AF ablation and emphasize the need for more information to guide the periprocedural use of both NOACs and VKAs in real-world setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-993
JournalEP Europace
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Oral anticoagulation
  • Ablation
  • Periprocedural anticoagulant therapy
  • Stroke prevention
  • Survey

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