Outcomes of persistent and long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation ablation: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Jock A. Clarnette, Anthony G. Brooks, Rajiv Mahajan, Adrian D. Elliott, Darragh J. Twomey, Rajeev K. Pathak, Sharath Kumar, Dian Andina Munawar, Glenn D. Young, Jonathan M. Kalman, Dennis H. Lau, Prashanthan Sanders

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52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: Several techniques have been utilized for the ablation of persistent (P) and long-standing persistent (LsP) atrial fibrillation (AF); however, the best approach of substrate ablation remains poorly defined. This study aims to examine the impact of ablation approach on outcomes associated with P or LsP AF ablation by conducting a meta-analysis and regression on contemporary literature. Methods and results: A systematic literature review was conducted up to 29 July 2015 for scientific literature reporting on outcomes associated with P or LsP AF ablation. One hundred and thirteen studies reported outcomes in a total of 18 657 patients undergoing various ablation approaches for the treatment of P-LsP AF between 2001 and 2015. The point efficacy estimate of a single-AF ablation procedure without the use of anti-arrhythmic drugs was 43% (95% CI; 39-47%). Multiple procedures and/or the use of anti-arrhythmic drugs increase success to 69% (95% CI; 66-71%). Meta-regression revealed that ablation technique (P < 0.001) and left atrial size (P = 0.02) were predictive of single procedure, drug-free success. The addition of extra-pulmonary substrate approaches was associated with declining efficacy when compared to a pulmonary vein ablation alone. Conclusion: The efficacy of a single-AF ablation procedure for P or LsP AF is 43%; however, can be increased to 69% with the use of multiple procedures and/or anti-arrhythmic drugs. Current literature supports the finding that pulmonary vein antrum ablation/isolation is at least equivalently efficacious to other contemporary P-LsP ablation strategies.

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