Researchers Discover Potential Marker for Ablation Success in AF Patients

APRIL 06, 2017
Jennifer Barrett, Assistant Editor

A recently-presented study suggests new markers to determine whether atrial fibrillation (AF) is likely to recur after ablation. Researchers discovered certain molecules that may be associated with AF recurrence following ablation treatment.1
The study was led by a team from the Intermountain Medical Center and was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Scientific Session in Washington, DC.
The researchers discovered that the presence of 3 circulating microRNAs in the bloodstream can be potential predictors of ablation success.
The study included 140 patients who underwent ablation to treat AF. The treatment was successful in 85 patients, but 55 patients experienced AF recurrence within 1 year. The researchers investigated microRNA presence and discovered 3 microRNAs, designated as 21, 150, and 328, whose levels varied between both groups.  
Patients who later experienced AF recurrence exhibited significantly lower microRNAs. The molecules have already been associated with atrial scarring, but researchers hope the new findings can help health care providers determine those treatments that would be more likely to be successful for patients with AF.
“MicroRNA particles are a direct result of our genetic make-up,” T. Jared Bunch, MD, of the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, said in a press release about the study. “As we try to identify treatments that are tailored to an individual person, microRNA has the promise to help us determine who may be a better candidate for ablation versus other therapies.”
  1. Study finds new markers associated with recurrence of atrial fibrillation in previously treated patients [news release]. Intermountain Healthcare’s website. Accessed Apr. 6, 2017