3 years ago

Catheter ablation versus conventional treatment of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Andrea Natale, Jackson J. Liang, Edo Y. Birati, Florentino Lupercio, Luigi Di Biase, Pasquale Santangeli, Jorge Romero, Fermin C. Garcia, Francis E. Marchlinski, Timothy M. Markman, Pedro A. Villablanca, David F. Briceño



To evaluate whether catheter ablation is superior to conventional therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).


Electronic databases were searched for randomized, controlled trials of AF ablation compared with conventional therapy in adults with AF and HFrEF. Odds ratio (OR), standard mean difference (SMD), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were measured using the Mantel-Haenszel method.


There were seven trials including 856 patients (mean age 62 years, male 86%). All-cause mortality in patients who underwent ablation was 10% vs. 19% in those who received conventional treatment (four trials, 668 patients, 47% relative reduction, 9% absolute reduction; OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.29–0.72). Improvement in the left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly higher for patients undergoing ablation (+ 9 ± 10%) compared to conventional treatment (+ 2 ± 7%) (seven trials, 856 patients, SMD 0.68, 95% CI 0.28–1.08). Freedom from AF was higher in patients undergoing ablation (seven trials, 856 patients, 70% vs. 18%, respectively; 64% relative reduction, 52% absolute reduction; OR 0.03 95% CI 0.01–0.11). There was no significant difference in major complications between both strategies (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.58–2.20).


Catheter ablation for AF in patients with HFrEF decreases mortality and AF recurrence and improves left ventricular function, functional capacity, and quality of life, when compared to conventional management, without increasing complications.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10840-018-0425-0

DOI: 10.1007/s10840-018-0425-0

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