Role of contact force‐guided radiofrequency catheter ablation for treatment of atrial fibrillation: A systematic review and meta‐analysis


INTRODUCTION: CF-sensing catheter emerged as a novel ablation technology and was increasingly used in clinical practice. Nonetheless, available evidence of efficacy and safety comparison between CF-guided RF catheter ablation and non-CF-guided ablation for treatment of AF was still lacking.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-two eligible studies were included after systematic review through the MEDLINE, Google Scholar, the Cochrane Library and PubMed databases. AF/atrial tachycardia-free survival was markedly improved in CF-guided catheter ablation compared with non-CF-guided ablation at a median 12-month follow-up (RR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.06–1.19, P = 0.000, fixed). Notably, CF-guided catheter ablation presented a robust survival benefit for treatment of paroxysmal AF (RR: 1.10, 95% CI: 1.03–1.18, P = 0.005, fixed), but not persistent AF (RR: 1.07, 95% CI: 0.89–1.28, P = 0.466, fixed). Moreover, procedure time (WMD: −23.87, 95% CI: −33.83 to −13.91, P = 0.000, random), fluoroscopy time (WMD: −7.78, 95% CI: −13.93 to −1.63, P = 0.013, random) and RF time (WMD: −3.98, 95% CI: −7.78 to −0.17, P = 0.040, random) were significantly reduced in CF-guided catheter ablation. The incidence of procedure-related complications did not differ between these two technologies (RR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.59 to 1.16, P = 0.271, fixed).

CONCLUSION: CF-guided RF catheter ablation was associated with a significant AF/atrial tachycardia-free survival benefit compared with non-CF-guided ablation in patients with paroxysmal AF rather than persistent AF. In addition, CF-guided ablation strategy also reduced the procedure time, fluoroscopy time, as well as RF time despite no distinct effect on the alleviation of procedure-related complications.

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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2017;28:994–1005.