Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy and AV Nodal Ablation Trial in Atrial Fibrillation

ANZCTR Trial ID: NCT01522898

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a treatment for heart failure in patients who also suffer from ventricular dyssynchrony, a form of uncoordinated contraction of the ventricle (lower pumping chamber of the heart). In the past decade, CRT has become an established treatment for heart failure patients who are in normal rhythm, called sinus rhythm. An important subset of heart failure patients are those with atrial fibrillation (AF), who make up around 1 in 4 HF patients, and are over-represented amongst HF patients with more advanced symptoms. In heart failure patients with AF, CRT has proven not to be as effective as in sinus rhythm, due to competition between beats generated by the CRT device and beats conducted from the heart's own electrical conduction system. In the current study, we aim to test the hypothesis that ablating the AV node, which controls electrical conduction from the heart's atria (top chamber) to its ventricles (lower chambers), will improve survival and heart failure symptoms in CRT patients with co-existent AF. The results are important, because they will provide a way of passing on the benefits of CRT, such as improved survival, less heart failure symptoms, and better quality of life, to heart failure patients who also suffer from AF.

Please contact Jonathon Foote for more information.

Watch Channel 7 News report on CAAN-AF.

  • Professor Sanders says...

    Atrial fibrillation is a consequence of several reversible risk factors - high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, sleep apnoea, and excessive alcohol. Your management of atrial fibrillation must include strict control of these risk factors.