Why Participate in the CABANA Study?

Why Participate in the CABANA Study?

You may be eligible to participate in CABANA if:

  • Your physician has determined that you have an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF)
  • You require treatment for your AF

Patients who participate in CABANA will be followed closely by their health care team. Study participants will have extra opportunities to monitor their heart rhythm and report their symptoms compared to most patients being treated for atrial fibrillation who are not enrolled in CABANA.

The CABANA study will enroll and follow 3000 patients like you, with atrial fibrillation, over the next five years. Your participation in this important research study will help physicians and health care researchers determine the best approach to treating atrial fibrillation and provide information that will answer many important clinical and scientific questions.

How is Atrial Fibrillation Normally Treated?

Atrial fibrillation can be treated using drugs that must be taken every day or with a procedure called catheter ablation. Both drug therapy and ablation have been used to treat AF for many years; however, it is not known which treatment strategy is best over the long term.

There are two types of drugs designed to treat atrial fibrillation:

  • Rate-control therapy is designed to prevent the heart rate from going too fast
  • Rhythm-control therapy is designed to stop or prevent an abnormal heart rhythm

You may require both types of drugs to treat your AF.

Catheter ablation is a procedure where specialized catheters are passed through your veins into the heart. During this procedure, the regions of the heart that are responsible for starting atrial fibrillation are identified and then cauterized (burned) using electrical current or other forms of energy.

What Should you Expect if you Decide to Participate in CABANA?

You will be asked to read and sign a consent form. The consent form includes important information, including possible side effects of the drugs and catheter ablation therapy used in the treatment of AF. Signing the consent form means you understand what is involved and that you are voluntarily taking part in CABANA. Your doctor will make sure all of your questions about the study are answered before you agree to participate.

As a participant in CABANA, you will be randomly assigned (as with the flip of a coin) to either drug therapy or ablation therapy group. Regardless of your treatment group assignment, you will receive the standard therapy for your arrhythmia as you would otherwise receive outside the study, if you and your doctor had independently chosen that treatment strategy.

All participants in CABANA will:

  • undergo a standard baseline evaluation that may include the following:
  • physical examination
  • electrocardiograms
  • echocardiograms (sound wave examination of the heart)
  • medical history review
  • review of past and current medications, adverse events, and atrial fibrillation symptoms
  • questions about your current and future health status
  • be provided with a single ‘CABANA Box’ recording system to be used for periodic monitoring of your heart rhythm during the follow-up period of the study. Individuals who participate in CABANA will receive close follow-up of their heart rhythm using the ‘CABANA Box.’
  • be followed for a period of 2-5 years. During this time period, information regarding your treatment, heart rhythm and progress will be recorded in an electronic database. At the end of the study, the information will be analyzed and the best treatment approach will be determined.

We are happy to answer any questions you have about participating in CABANA. Please e-mail us at cabana@mayo.edu

Who do I Contact to Learn More about CABANA?

You may contact:

A CABANA Research Center by visiting


The CABANA Clinical and Administrative Center

Mayo Clinic/St. Mary’s Hospital Alfred 2-416

1216 Second St. SW

Rochester, MN 55902

Project Director: Kristi H. Monahan, R.N.

Phone: 507-255-6676

Fax: 507-255-9608

E-mail us at cabana@mayo.edu