Meta-Analysis of Safety and Efficacy of Uninterrupted Non–Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants Versus Vitamin K Antagonists for Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation


This meta-analysis sought to assess the safety and efficacy of uninterrupted non–vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) versus uninterrupted vitamin K antagonists in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients undergoing catheter ablation. Electronic databases were searched for randomized trials (RCTs) and observational studies that compared uninterrupted NOACs versus uninterrupted vitamin K antagonists in the catheter ablation of AF. Safety outcomes included major bleeding, total bleeding, minor bleeding, and cardiac tamponade. Efficacy outcomes were symptomatic thromboembolism and symptomatic stroke/transient ischemic attack. Summary estimate risk ratios (RRs) were constructed primarily with a DerSimonian–Laird model. Thirteen studies (3 RCTs and 10 observational studies) with 4,878 patients were included. The risk of major bleeding (RR 0.83, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.46 to 1.50, p=0.53), total bleeding (RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.15, p=0.41), minor bleeding (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.21, p=0.85), cardiac tamponade (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.69, p=0.65), symptomatic thromboembolism (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.26 to 3.31, p=0.90), and symptomatic stroke/transient ischemic attack (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.29 to 3.65, p=0.97) was similar in both groups. The quality of evidence for both major bleeding and symptomatic thromboembolism was moderate for RCTs and very low for observational studies. In conclusion, the use of uninterrupted NOACs in AF catheter ablation appears to be safe and efficacious. The evidence is not of high quality; thus, further high-quality RCTs are needed to confirm these findings.

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Elgendy AY et al. Am J Cardiol. 2017, 8 August.